Academic Literature

“What makes a great story?”: Multidisciplinary and International Perspectives on Digital Stories By Youth Formerly in Foster Care in Canada

2022

“What makes a great story?”: Multidisciplinary and International Perspectives on Digital Stories By Youth Formerly in Foster Care in Canada

11 months ago 11 months ago Published by

What makes a great story? This qualitative arts-based dissertation study explores multidisciplinary and international perspectives on digital stories created by youth formerly in foster care. Over Skype, 35 participants from the arts, healthcare, education, and social services sectors watched three short digital stories about experiences of youth in foster care. Then, each participated in a 90-minute semi-structured interview to discuss the value, impact, and potential for digital storytelling to influence social change.

All participants spoke about how the three digital stories presented honest and personal experiences that contrast dramatically with stories presented in the media about foster care. After viewing these stories, all participants asserted that there is a need for the creation and sharing of authentic and emotional stories that connect with specific audiences to subvert idealistic narratives in the media about youth currently and formerly in foster care.

I drew on participant narratives using Constructivist Grounded Theory approaches to develop the 4A model to describe the attributes of “great stories”: Anticipation, Actualization, Affect, and Authenticity. I also created seven multimodal outputs that contributed to the shaping of the findings and enhanced reflexive praxis.

The implications of this work varies across disciplines. Digital storytelling facilitators may develop insights into better supporting future participants to think critically about the impact and value of their stories before they write them. Artists may consider how best to employ their aesthetic skills and techniques to create compelling and storied artworks. Social service professionals may consider how to further leverage stories to build empathy and positively impact care delivery.

Ludlow, B. (2022). “What makes a great story?”: Multidisciplinary and International Perspectives on Digital Stories By Youth Formerly in Foster Care in Canada [Doctoral dissertation, York University]. YorkSpace. https://yorkspace.library.yorku.ca/xmlui/handle/10315/40688

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