Facilitation: Narration as a human communication paradigm: the case of public moral argument

Fisher’s article “Narration as a human communication paradigm: the case of public moral argument” was very hard to understand, and I had a lot of trouble writing this facilitation.  But I think I finally figured it out, Fisher’s main statement is that mankind use books, movies, etc. to make emotional ties and create shared memories to embed influential, compelling theories. “The pursuit of Happyness” is a movie that has an emotional tie to it.

In this movie a struggling salesman takes custody of his son as he’s poised to begin a life-changing professional career. In this movie Will Smith plays the role of a single father that has been removed from his home, and has nowhere to go. The character Will plays is  “Chris Gardner ” eventually finds a job as an intern but it still pays no money. They go through many hard experiences throughout this movie, but no matter what they never give up hope. Many people can relate to this movie and can share emotional ties with it because a lot of people struggle to support their family.

I think another excellent concept was how books/movies are used to help people to believe and behave in particular ways (religion, political ideas, common manners, etc.) He explained how books have been used to create beliefs and interests, help others to understand, gain verification with a particular group, and bring organization to our experiences. Stories are so influential since almost all of them can connect with the attitudes, acts, or people in them. They’re seeking to develop our view of the world and the people surrounding us. One movie that helps support this idea is The Edge of the Seventeen.


The film tells a story about a young girl coping with change, depression, friends, family, and high school. A large number of young people can connect with the anxious and troubled teenage girl, or other characters in the movie.It helps the viewer grasp a number of different perspectives (a high school girl, a brother, a mother). Last but not least, this story helps the viewers to see the importance of friendship value, that it’s not always good to fall for a person just cause they are attractive, to appreciate, and to pardon others. This film was told as a story with a strong intimate and spiritual connection that was convincing, which compelled the viewer to aspire for joy and laughter in the final stages of social isolation and sorrow.

Lastly when Fisher talks about narrative paradigm he says, “Regardless of the form they may assume, recounting and accounting for are stories we tell to ourselves and each other to establish a meaningful-life world. The character of the narrator(s), the conflicts, the resolutions, and the style will vary, but each mode of recounting and accounting for is but a way of relating a “truth” about a human condition” (pg 6). This statement is saying that facts are just as persuasive to the viewer as emotions if the story conveys the same meaning. 

When I think of narrative paradigm I think of the use of movies and how they affect the viewpoint of children. Some kinds of movies that affect their viewpoint are superhero movies such as marvel movies or Disney’s big hero 6. Big hero 6 is a movie where kids look at themselves and say I want to be a hero too or I want to fight evil and save the world. Kids are inspired by these films to be better people and care for others. Narrative paradigms help shape what makes people good or bad and we are persuaded by their use of beneficial theories.

6 thoughts to “Facilitation: Narration as a human communication paradigm: the case of public moral argument”

  1. I thought this facilitation did a good job of giving examples that do display a narrative approach to storytelling. All of these films tell a story that is not always based on a slow thought out approach to solving the problems they encounter. We discussed in class today how many people today do approach life with a logical idea rather than narrative. These examples are also interesting because while they do take a narrative approach they do it with very realistic situations, a homeless man and his son and a seventeen-year-old love-struck girl are both very common situations and to see them on the big screen adds real fidelity and the narrative approach does add that emotional connection.

  2. I think you hit the facilitation on the dot. Narrative paradigm allows whatever is being transmitted to be understood by the audience and be relatable. We can find a little bit of ourselves in the media when it’s a narrative as we can relate to most experiences as humans. As Kirkwood says, “the narrative paradigm insists that human communication should be viewed as historical as well as situational.” (2) This quote argues that when a medium appeals to the narrative paradigm, then said medium should be treated as an important event. From this, I think another example could have been 50/50. This movie looks at a man who, even though lives a healthy style, is diagnosed with a rare form of cancer and goes through the whole process of treatment. This narrative paradigm allows for the audience to understand that cancer affects everyone and anyone.


  3. Despite your claims of being unsure if you fully understand Fisher’s article, I think you explained it very and reached a conclusion that at least matches with what I understood from it. Children’s movies are an excellent source to see Fisher’s discussion of emotional ties in narrative paradigms. Most of these movies seek to tell children a valuable lesson, which occurs through raw emotional storytelling that. These lessons seem to tie into his argument made on page 10 of the article, where Fisher tells how the narrative paradigm ties into a moral argument, which children’s movies heavily argue for good morals. A film that comes to my mind is UP, where the main character Carl becomes isolated and depressed due to the loss of his wife and his age. However, through his interactions with Russell, he learns that to feel joyful again and rediscover his love for exploration. This ties into the emotional argument that we understand why Carl would be depressed but desire him to return to his childhood joy, which we can see reflected in Russel. There are countless children’s movies that one can use to give as examples to support his argument. Still, your use of films such as Marvel and Big Hero 6 captures this idea very well in a broad stroke makes it easy to understand Fisher’s point even if one hasn’t read the article themselves.

  4. I have to agree that this was a difficult piece to understand, but I think you were right in your explanation of it. Going along with your explanation of narrative paradigms, I think we can take take it one step further with how impacted children specifically are with heroic style movies and inspiring tales. Even though these are grandiose and clearly fictional tales, children take to these characters as role-models and aspire to be just like characters in question, wanting and wishing to be viewed just as heroically the heroes are. The children “learn the truths dwelling in the characters” (17) as Fisher says in doing this. As the children attempt to emulate all the good qualities and ideals of their idol hero, they slowly begin to integrate these qualities into their actual personalities. The emotional link that children attach to heroes is a direct result of narrative paradigms, which place heavy emotions on the audience (in this case the children) to get them attached to the heroes.

  5. I completely agree with what they are getting at throughout this facilitation. It being about the fact that all things that are published (books, movies, TV shows, comic books, and manga) are meant to make us attached to them and feel something for them. You see people all the time getting attached to fictional characters not because they’re mentally unstable but because those characters make them feel like they aren’t completely alone. I’m many people too fictional characters can be more of an inspiration than real people

  6. I also struggled to understand the narrative paradigm theory after only reading Fisher’s article. The lecture in class on Tuesday, as well as the Prezi (linked below) put Fisher’s theory into simpler terms. I consider myself a practical thinker and a realist and had never really thought about communication from this prospective. A quote that stood out in the reading reads as follows: “The narrative perspective does not deny reason and rationality; it reconstitutes them, making them amenable to all forms of human communication.”

    https://prezi.com/ylj8ecpzsopj/narrative-paradigm/ (Prezi link)

    I like the example that she uses about communication between a doctor and their patient, starting on slide 5.

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