Justyna Pawlak
The Jagiellonian University, Institute of Psychology, Krakow, Poland

E-mail:orest_pawlak@poczta.onet.pl

 

THE NARRATIVE IDENTITY AND ITS RUPTURE IN THE EXPERIENCE OF SUFFERING

 

Based on Paul Ricoeur's theory, the paper focuses on the concept of narrative identity. Firstly, the problem will be contextualized by describing the role of construction and reconstruction of meaning as well as story-telling in self-understanding, both in a personal and socio-cultural sense. The paper also presents how cultural and civilizational changes affect the development of identity, problems of being in relationship with the other person and making 'life decisions', especially in the case of young adults. The second part of the paper focuses on the idea of the 'narration failure', more specifically in the experience of suffering. Such circumstances lead to narration rupture, when the pain makes a person incapable not only of story-telling and, in this way, of uniting past-present-future, but also of communicating with others and even with oneself. This situation results in the collapse of the dialogical self. Situating on the border of different themes, the notion of 'narration rupture' unites these as well, e.g.: the narrative identity, possibility of the collapse of the dialogical self in schizophrenia and the problem of meaning reconstruction in the face of loss and trauma.