Today been learning more about narratives...these little stories, meaning makings and rules that surround us everyday.
Bruner tells us we narratize (or tell stories) about our experiences and define our role. We hop into familiar story-lines. These story-lines tend to be familiar in each culture. These basic story-lines become so familiar we barely recognize them as stories.
Stories about the way the stockbroker squandered our money, or the story about the relationship that failed because he was a narcissist-- there are thousands.
Why do we have these? Why do we fit our stories into familiar story-lines? These stories are ever changing - or at least being tweaked. They are like learning algorithms...we fit our experiences into familiar story-lines in the hopes that it will help us predict the outcome.
I learned from my work in Revenue Management used for TV stations how there are these algorithms that are used to predict demand...say for an ad spot on Prime Time. Travel websites also use these algorithms..they use predictive models to determine what they can charge you for a June trip to Italy (in my case). What do predictive models have to do with stories?
Well story-lines are like little predictive models or frames upon which we hang our experiences. If I am with the narcassist or dealing with the crooked stock broker, I know what to do next. The stories tell me what to do next and the probable outcome. As cultures evolve and say the stock broker returns to the side of the good..we find ourselves in a new story-line. We are always adjusting to figure out which story we're in....
Of course these stories differ in different cultures of course. For example, the "how to handle life with a narcissist" storyline will be quite different in NY than rural china where perhaps "narcissist" is not even a character.
So, today's thought is to consider "what story" am I in when telling a friend a tale? If you stop in the middle and look around, you might be surprised and a bit un-nerved to find yourself talking without a story line. I am curious what we might say without the safety of our tales.
Let me know...
“people narratize their experience of the world and their own role in it” We make up stories but the form, plot and genre are usually familiar in the culture (Bruner