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Pacific Lutheran University

Publication Date

Fall 2010

Program Name

Ireland: Transformation of Social and Political Conflict


This paper is the outcome of a month-long exploratory study on storytelling in Northern Ireland, examining the impacts and possibility of healing for the individual and how those impacts affect societal healing and inter-community relationship building. Data was obtained by way of qualitative methods using focused interviews and unstructured observation. I argue that ‘moving on’ and healing of trauma, and the re-humanization of the enemy image may be possible at an individual level through storytelling, but that societal transformation needs to include an aspect of structural change in order to be sustainable. I also examine the potential for the unintended outcome of storytelling to reinforce ethicized narratives of identity. Recommendations for potential future studies include an examination into the ethical evaluation of storytelling’s long-term impact upon the individual and society.


Community Psychology | Interpersonal and Small Group Communication


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