Storytelling and the Dissolution of Categories

By Ellen McCabe.

Published by The International Journal of Technology, Knowledge and Society

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Stories and narratives are central to human creativity and understanding. Through them we acquire a sense not only of our environment, but of our own identity. Yet the role of the story is by no means fixed. Indeed it is both vital and inevitable that it evolve to the social, cultural and technological context (Ong 41). The recent shift from a society dominated by print, to one where digital media prevails invites us to consider the consequences for storytelling. How have the inevitable changes in perception, cognition and notions of identity influenced contemporary story structure as well as expectations of storytelling? What new stories have grown from this transition and to what magnitude do these, in turn, inform cultural identity as a whole? The page and the stage are being dissolved into the online medium.The categories invested with such importance in print culture are becoming less and less meaningful.This paper seeks to examine the dissolution of categories in the digital age and the implications of this for the contemporary story.

Keywords: Storytelling,, Narrative,, Digital,, Media,, Networked Society,, Technology,, Print,, Culture,, Social Construction,, Literacy,, Orality,, Technological Determinism, Constructivism

The International Journal of Technology, Knowledge, and Society: Annual Review, Volume 10, pp.15-23. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 330.561KB).

Ellen McCabe

PhD Student, The Huston School of Film & Digital Media, National University of Ireland, Galway, Galway, N/A, Ireland

I began my academic career by embarking on a bachelor’s degree in architecture at Queen’s University Belfast. Following graduation I decided to pursue the Master’s in Digital Media at N.U.I. Galway. From day one I was intrigued by the way in which technology informs narratives and storytelling and the implications of this for education. How have the inevitable changes in perception, cognition and notions of identity influenced contemporary story structure as well as expectations of storytelling? Considering this how can we actively engage with stories conceived in a different age and can technology facilitate this? On completion of my master’s I began working as a graphic designer and photographer, but I felt that there was more to be done with regard to my research. When my master’s project achieved an award of Silver Finalist in the Irish Digital Media Awards(category e-learning)I decided to return to academia and develop the project into a PhD. I am currently developing this research as part of the Digital Arts and Humanities programme based in the Huston School of Film & Digital Media, N.U.I. Galway.