A story about storytelling: enhancement of community participation through catalytic storytelling

Mikulas Pstross, Craig A. Talmage, Richard Knopf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


This article presents a new approach to stimulate conversations among community members to mobilize resources and improve community well-being. The approach emerged during an asset mapping study in a school district in metropolitan Phoenix, Arizona when the researchers realized that they could not on their own capture the broad range of diversity within a community. The approach, which the authors later came to call catalytic storytelling, is interpreted in light of asset-based community development, appreciative inquiry, and community storytelling traditions. It requires the researcher to adopt an ambiguous position as insider–outsider, which was described by Dwyer and Buckle in 2009. Furthermore, catalytic storytelling purports that reports written by community development researchers and community organizers should pose key questions to community members in addition to summarizing main stories derived from community conversations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)525-538
Number of pages14
JournalCommunity Development
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 20 2014


  • asset-based community development
  • catalytic storytelling
  • citizen participation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Sociology and Political Science


Dive into the research topics of 'A story about storytelling: enhancement of community participation through catalytic storytelling'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this