The narrative spaсe of a personal diary (sociological approach)

Tyumen State University Herald. Social, Economic, and Law Research


2015, Vol. 1. №1(1)

The narrative spaсe of a personal diary (sociological approach)

About the author:

Yulia M. Bespalova ,
Dr. Sci. (Philos.), Professor, Department of General and Economic Sociology, Financial and Economic Institute, Tyumen State University


The paper aims to extend the source framework of sociology as well as to search for the increment of sociological knowledge and to combine a creative and scholarly approach. The analysis of narrative texts, primarily diaries, is introduced as an important method of sociological research and as an essential tool in the research of society. This approach regulates the relationship of a person with time and space, links together individual and social events, defines the basic principles of an individual's existence in society, and demonstrates personal attitudes to what is happening in society, the latter being especially vital at the present stage of the development of sociology. The excerpts from the diary of an eyewitness of World War I are given to illustrate the approach. World War I is often referred to in Russian society and studies as the 'forgotten war'. Currently, owing to the centennial anniversary of World War I, persistent attempts are made by Russian scholars from a variety of fields to enhance the remembrance of this war. The author stresses the importance of sociologists' involvement in those attempts. It is crucial to note the heuristic focus of the research of the narrative, which is necessary for the creation of new research hypotheses and new sociological concepts that will enable scholars to detect the phenomena of public life so far ignored.


1. Trotsuk, I.V., Narrativ kak mezhdistsiplinarnyi metodologicheskii konstrukt v sovremennykh sotsial'nykh naukakh [Narrative as an Interdisciplinary Methodological Construct of the Modern Social Sciences]. URL:

2. Iarskaia-Smirnova, E.R., Narrativnyi analiz v sotsiologii [Narrative Analysis in Sociology]. URL:

3. Glazychev, V., Provincial Russia of Present Day / / Publichnye lektsii [Public Lectures]. 16 September 2004. URL:

4. Kozlova, N.N. On the experience of sociological reading of the «human documents», or Reflections on the significance of methodological reflection. SocIS. 2000.

№ 9. P. 22-31. (in Russian).

5. Shtompka, P. The focus on the everyday life. A new turn in sociology. SocIS. 2009.

№ 8. P. 3-13. (in Russian).

6. Alekseev, A., The diary and the letter as forms of social communication. Filosofskie nauki — Philosophy. 2008. № 8. P. 31-47. (in Russian).

7. Kozlova, N.N. Held hostage by words. SocIS. 1995. № 10. P. 100-109. (in Russian).

8. Bespalova, Iu.M., Obrashchenie k sebe: povsednevnaia zhizn' zapadnosibirskoi sem'i glazami sotsiologa [Turning to Oneself: Daily Life of a West Siberian Family through the Eyes of a Sociologist]. Tyumen, 2014. Pp. 40-55; 160-213. (in Russian).

9. Golofast, V. Sotsiologiia sem'i. Stat'i raznykh let [Sociology of the Family. Articles Written in Different Years]. St-Petersburg, 2006. P. 279-280. (in Russian).

10. Bakhtin, M.M. The problem of speech genres / In: Estetika slovesnogo tvorchestva [Aesthetics of Verbal Creativity]. Moscow, 1979, P. 250. (in Russian).

11. Iarkova, E.N. Istoriia i filosofiia nauki [History and Philosophy of Science]. Tyumen: Tyumen State University Publ., 2012. P. 95. (in Russian).