Small stories in short interactions: The functions of narratives in care home worker interactions

Publication: Scientific journalJournal articlepeer-review


The study investigates story-telling in naturally-occurring interactions in a
care home for older people with dementia in England. Stories were told by a
range of discourse participants and varied from more relationally-oriented
anecdotes occurring as part of small talk to more transactionally-oriented
narratives embedded into work routines. The main aim of the study was to
explore narratives as social practice in the interactions of the care staff and
to discover what functions they perform in their workplace practice and
more generally in that of the care home. The analysis focused principally on
two primarily work-oriented narrative types: “working stories” and “narratives
of professional practice”. The findings were that such stories performed
a range of key functions in the professional practice of the care givers, in
particular problem-solving, knowledge-sharing and critical evaluation.
Original languageEnglish
JournalNarrative Inquiry
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Austrian Classification of Fields of Science and Technology (ÖFOS)

  • 602004 General linguistics
  • 602008 English studies

Cite this