Styles of Communication, Vol 4, No 1 (2012)

Selected Functions of Narrative Structures in the Process of Social and Cultural Communication

Wojciech Alberski


The art of narrative stems from the art of rhetoric and modes of persuasion and in this meaning is understood not just as a form of entertainment but also as a tool of communication. Any narrative communicates and conveys a message. Narrative is an important aspect of culture and as a ubiquitous component of human communication is conveyed by different works of art (literature, music, painting, sculpture), and illustrates events, emotions, phenomena and occurrences. Narrative as a form of communication involves its participants, a teller and a receiver of the message. The relation and the distance between the participants of the narrative communication process may have a different configuration and presents different effect of closeness and distance in narrative. In this meaning narrative is not just the art of telling stories, but it serves various functions, it communicates information, expresses emotions and personal events, transmits morals and cultural knowledge, provides entertainment and also helps in many ways to depict thoughts and feelings, along with disclosing the beauty of language. Narrative knowledge and narrative perception of social and cultural processes, is one of the most natural ways for a human being to acquire and organize their knowledge about the world. The ability to create narratives leads to a better understanding of the surrounding reality, and significantly influences the interpretation of social and cultural relationships.


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