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The Transformative SelfPersonal Growth, Narrative Identity, and the Good Life$
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Jack Bauer

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9780199970742

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2021

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199970742.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 24 January 2022

Growth Structure in Personal Narratives

Growth Structure in Personal Narratives

(p.193) 7 Growth Structure in Personal Narratives
The Transformative Self

Jack Bauer

Oxford University Press

Narrative content and structure are intertwined. However, this chapter identifies the features of narrative structure that do not overlap with narrative content. Narrative content conveys the facts, themes (i.e., value orientations), and tones (i.e., value fulfillments) of a story, whereas narrative structure conveys the objectively assessed degrees of complexity and coherence (i.e., value perspectivity) by which the narrator interprets the narrative content. The transformative self tends toward a relatively complex and coherent narrative structure, which develops over time, manifesting as psychological maturity and wisdom. The value perspectivity of narrative structure is what distinguishes wisdom from goods such as happiness, love, and meaningfulness. However, wisdom blends structural perspectivity with humane themes. This chapter distinguishes narrative phenomena that sound like structure but function more proximally as content: closure, subtypes of coherence, continuity over time, and affective sequences. The chapter also explores narrative structure in dialogical positioning. The chapter concludes by summarizing Chapters 4–7.

Keywords:   narrative structure, value perspectivity, growth, complexity, coherence, differentiation, integration, wisdom, maturity, positioning

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