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Article

Biography and Form of Life. Toward a Cultural Analysis of Narrative Interviews

Sociologia. 2019. Vol. 51. No. 6. P. 563-583.
Kurakin D., Binder W.

This paper introduces the concept of form of life, socially shaped and shared meaning structures of actors situated in material contexts, as a tool for the cultural-sociological analysis of biographies and life trajectories. Following the principles of structural hermeneutics, such an analysis of life-forms treats the interview text as manifestation of a deeper holistic meaning structure, embodied in narratives, binaries and metaphors, without suppressing the contradictions and tensions inherent in every form of life. Finally, the empirical applicability of our approach is illustrated with examples from the qualitative strand of a broader longitudinal panel study as well as an in-depth case study.