University of Oulu

Katja Sutela, Juha Ojala, & Marja-Leena Juntunen. (2017). Embodiment and Ethnographic Sensitivity in Narrative Inquiry. Bulletin of the Council for Research in Music Education, (210-211), 43-60. doi:10.5406/bulcouresmusedu.210-211.0043

Embodiment and ethnographic sensitivity in narrative inquiry

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Author: Sutela, Katja1; Ojala, Juha1; Juntunen, Marja-Leena2
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Finland
2University of the Arts Helsinki, Finland
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.2 MB)
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Language: English
Published: University of Illinois Press, 2017
Publish Date: 2018-01-15


In this article, we reflect on how aspects of the researcher’s embodiment may infuse narrative inquiry. For reflecting on the role of the researcher’s embodiment, we use an opportunity provided by a case study in which the development of one adolescent student’s agency during a teaching intervention was observed, analyzed, and presented in a narrative form. The case is a part of the first author’s ongoing ethnographic practitioner research, which examines the possibilities of Dalcroze-based music teaching in fostering students’ agency in the context of special music education in Finnish lower secondary school. The doctoral study focuses on students’ capacity for narrative self-expression through nonverbal communication, by telling stories out of and through the body as indicators of agency. In this article, we explore how different aspects of embodied interaction between a teacher-researcher and a participating student may infuse narrative analysis. We identify 4 ways in which the teacher-researcher and the student shaped the interpretation of the narrative that the student told through his body and bodily expression: clarity of experience, empathy, valence (of experience), and balance (of power relations and roles). While also contributing to the research in special and music education by dealing with inclusive aspects of music education, this article invites other narrative researchers to enter further dialogue on embodiment in narrative analysis by asking: What is the meaning of the relationship between the researcher and the participant in terms of embodied experiences, senses, feelings, perceptions, and emotions?

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Series: Bulletin of the Council for Research in Music Education
ISSN: 0010-9894
ISSN-E: 2162-7223
ISSN-L: 0010-9894
Issue: 210-211
Pages: 43 - 60
DOI: 10.5406/bulcouresmusedu.210-211.0043
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 6131 Theatre, dance, music, other performing arts
Copyright information: Copyright 2017 by the Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois. Published by University of Illinois Press.