The master narrative about social aggression is that it is devastating for girls. Absent from the narrative, however, are girls' voices and a consideration of the positive benefits that targets might incur. Girls' stories of social aggression can be hard to communicate, as adolescents experience challenges making sense of emotionally difficult events. Using Burke's dramaturgical perspective and visual narrative metaphor method, the present study provided girls with a means of purification or a way of identifying both the devastating and redeeming nature of social aggression, including a sequential move from pollution to redemption. Forty-two middle school girls drew and orally described metaphors representing their negative feelings and positive outcomes associated with an experience of social aggression. The analysis revealed four categories of pollution metaphors and four categories of redemption metaphors, as well as five discourse structures that provided insight into how participants constructed their pollution and redemption narratives.
Drawing Light(ning) from the Clouds of Social Aggression: A Visual Narrative Analysis of Girls' Metaphors
Erin K. Willer, Department of Communication Studies, University of Denver. The data used for this study were collected by the author while doing research for her doctoral dissertation at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. An earlier version of this manuscript was presented at the 2011 National Communication Association conference in New Orleans. The author wishes to thank the middle school students and staff who made the study possible, as well as her dissertation advisor, Jody Koenig Kellas, and William R. Cupach for their contributions to the manuscript. Correspondence to: Erin Willer, 299 Sturm Hall, 2000 E. Asbury Ave., University of Denver, Denver, CO 80208, USA. E-mail: email@example.com.
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Erin K. Willer; Drawing Light(ning) from the Clouds of Social Aggression: A Visual Narrative Analysis of Girls' Metaphors. Qualitative Communication Research 1 September 2012; 1 (3): 347–383. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/qcr.2012.1.3.347
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