NarrativeLevel” refers to the level of “narratives,” of stories, of the ways that groups and individuals think about themselves and others.

“What’s that person doing, on the narrative level?” …translates to: “What does that person think that they are doing? Why are they doing it? How do they see their story interacting with other people’s stories?”

For a community, we can ask questions like: “How did they come together? (FoundingMyth?) Where do they envision themselves going? What do they think they are doing? What do they want to do? Why do they want to do what they do?”

These are all analyses on the Narrative Level. Their components are intelligences and stories.

Alternative Uses of the Narrative Level

Less conventional considerations of the NarrativeLevel:

Narrative Level and Narrathemes

When individual stories are replaced by archetypical situations and themes, these are sometimes called NarraThemes, eg. when a particular founding myth is used by a nation, such as the story of Wilhelm Tell in Switzerland, then analyzing the reception of Schiller’s Wilhelm Tell play is an “analysis on the narrative level”. On the other hand, when news items are often structured as the Swiss resisting change, then this resistance to change is a Swiss narratheme.

The Free Software Movement

When trying to understand how FreeSoftware works, you can’t ignore the NarrativeLevel being repeated in books and speeches. We against Microsoft. No, not Microsoft, against corporations. Are we communists? The way we try to distinguish ourselves from communism. How the Free Software movement turned out to be paving the way for FreeCulture and OpenAccess. Rumors of how Richard M. Stallman is or is not on Usenet. The story of Linus Torvalds and Bitkeeper. How Eric S. Raymond is a gun lover and a self-selected spokesman for our movement. The antagonism and similarities between the various spokesmen and how we talk about them is an essential part of understanding our movement.

The stories we tell about ourselves are an important aspect of our image. It attracts some and repells others. It can be manipulated and it can be used. It is important.

See Also

CategoryProblemDescription? CategoryNarrative


Okay, I just did a major rework, based on what we talked about.

Feel free to bring back something in!


Define external redirect: FoundingMyth CategoryProblemDescription

EditNearLinks: NetWar FreeCulture FreeSoftware