Restructuring structural narrative analysis using Campbell's monomyth to understand participant narratives

Joshua Cruz, Nadia Kellam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


In this paper, we describe a method for performing structural narrative analysis that draws on narratology and literary studies, moving structural narrative analysis from a focus on examining linguistic parts of narratives to understanding thematic structures that make up the whole narrative. We explore the possibility of constructing participant narratives using Campbell's monomyth as a coding and structuralizing scheme. The method we describe is the response to the question, "How might we find a reliable way to construct 'smooth' stories (with attention to the structures of stories) so that we might compare trajectories of student experiences?" To answer this question, we use narrative interviews from a larger study to show how this method can make sense of interviews and construct accessible and useful participant narratives. We close by providing an example narrative constructed using the monomyth coding scheme and discussing benefits and difficulties associated with this method.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)169-186
Number of pages18
JournalNarrative Inquiry
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2017


  • Campbell's monomyth
  • Hero's journey
  • Literary studies
  • Narrative smoothing
  • Narratology
  • Structural narrative analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • History
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Literature and Literary Theory


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