Review of Communication Research

NARRATIVE AND MASS COMMUNICATION                                                                                                 

Title & Author

NARRATIVE RESEARCH IN COMMUNICATION: KEY PRINCIPLES AND ISSUES

Daniel G. McDonald

Ohio State University, OH, USA

Highlights

• Narrative has taken a central presence in Communication research.

• Although few communicaiton scholars make a distinction between narrative and story, narrative and story need to be defined for conceptual and analytical clarity.

• Stories provide causal linkages between events while narratives have specific structures that affect the involvement and attention that is required to develop those linkages.

• Narration simulates the social world through abstraction, simplification and compression.

• In situation models, words, actions, ideas, sounds and images are all brought together to enable us to experience a narrative for ourselves.

• It is inevitable that we will adopt the perspective of characters so that we can understand a narrative.

• However, we maintain our attitudes, stereotypes, prejudices, and knowledge of the world that we have experienced. We don’t become the character, but the character is us.

• Perspective taking is inf luenced by the nature and type of character goals and motivations, as well as our knowledge of real-world (physical) constraints on the narrative action, and even some physical aspects of the audience member.

Abstract

A great deal of recent research on communication has been developed in the general area of narrative or narrative effects. The majority of this work has brought in older communication concepts without reconciling those concepts with what has been learned about narrative in other social sciences. This review covers some of the major points from research on narrative to help expand the knowledge base and suggest directions for additional work in the field of communication.

Content

COMMUNICATION AND NARRATIVE

NARRATIVE STRUCTURE AND MEANING

ORIGINS OF NARRATIVE

Figure 1. A simple story expressed in three different narratives

SIMULATED WORLDS

SITUATION MODELS

CONTINUOUS UPDATING

PREDICTIVE SIMULATIONS

SOCIAL COMPONENTS

WHAT WE DO WITH A NARRATIVE

Embodied Situations

Cross-Modality Effects

Embodied Characters

Character Goals

IMPLICATIONS FOR COMMUNICATION RESEARCH

REFERENCES

COPYRIGHTS AND REPOSITORIES

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Narrative Research in Communication: Key Principles and Issues

Daniel G. McDonald

 

Keywords: Narrative; Persuasion; Mass Media Audiences; Mental Models; Mass Communication; Storytelling; Film Studies

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How to cite

McDonald, D. G. (2014). Narrative Research in Communication: Key Principles and Issues. Review of Communication Research, 2(1), 115-132. doi: 10.12840/issn.2255-4165.2014.02.01.005

Keywords

Narrative, Persuasion, Mass Media Audiences, Mental Models

Repositories

Repositories where you can find this article

Internet Archive (Community Texts) @ https://archive.org/details/texts

Academia.edu @ http://independent.academia.edu/ReviewofCommunicationResearch

Social Science Open Access Repository @ http://www.ssoar.info/en/home.html

About the Author

Daniel G. McDonald is Professor of Communication at the Ohio State University. His recent work has focused on the processing of media narratives. He has published in Communication Research, the Journal of Communication, the Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, and a number of other outlets. Additional information can be accessed at: http://www.comm.ohio-state.edu/component/comprofiler/userprofile/170.html

 

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