Story variations: Resisting the cultural gaze — Sophie Shuang Cao


In contemporary China, concepts of individualism and collectivism have become entangled in ways that have established a complex array of norms and expectations that can make it difficult to escape a sense of personal failure. This paper describes how engaging with narrative practices of co-researching problems, making discourses visible and deindividualising collective experiences through definitional ceremony enabled two young Chinese men who were living with unwelcome effects of social expectations to reclaim their preferred sense of identity, develop alternative storylines of their lives and make important contributions to the lives of others.