Media as Practice: Narrative and Conceptual Approach for Qualitative Data Analysis

Pilar Lacasa, Rut Martinez-Borda, Laura Mendez


This paper considers videogames as meaningful media in interactive and everyday contexts. In order to show our theoretical and methodological perspective for approaching media as practice, we analyze how a commercial video game, Tomb Raider: Cronicles, could be present in several scenarios. The research focuses on how to understand media in context by combining two modes of thought: the narrative, or the use of stories, and the conceptual, or the use of categorical concepts. We have adopted an ethnographical and action research perspective inspired by sociocultural psychology. Our starting point is the concept of narrative considered as an object and method of research. On the one hand, we analyze the way in which a cultural narrative, Lara Croft's story as presented in a game, is introduced in the classroom. On the other hand, we show how narratives, complemented by conceptual analysis, turn into a methodological instrument that helps to analyze the meanings that the participants attribute to the game. Our data comes from a workshop where the research team, acting as participant observers, collaborated with a teacher and her primary school students in Spain. The paper examines two levels of analysis in some detail in order to show how narrative and conceptual thinking can be combined, from a dialectical point of view, in order to understand media as tools that take part in situated activities.

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Studies in Media and Communication      ISSN 2325-8071 (Print)   ISSN 2325-808X (Online)

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