Quotation Köster, Almut. 2021. Small stories in short interactions: The functions of narratives in care home worker interactions. Narrative Inquiry.




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.


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Publication's profile

Status of publication Published
Affiliation WU
Type of publication Journal article
Journal Narrative Inquiry
Citation Index SSCI
Language English
Title Small stories in short interactions: The functions of narratives in care home worker interactions
Year 2021
Reviewed? Y
URL https://doi.org/10.1075/ni.20064.koe
DOI https://doi.org/10.1075/ni.20064.koe
Open Access N


Köster, Almut (Details)
Institute for English Business Communication (Köster) (Details)
Competence Center for Business Languages WE (Details)
Research areas (ÖSTAT Classification 'Statistik Austria')
6604 Applied linguistics (Details)
6605 English language and literature (Details)
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