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  • Narrative inquiry or narrative analysis emerged as a discipline from within the broader field of qualitative research in the early 20th century. Narrative inquiry uses field texts, such as stories, autobiography, journals, field notes, letters, conversations, interviews, family stories, photos, and life experience, as the units of analysis to research and understand the way people create meaning in their lives as narratives. Narrative inquiry has been employed as a tool for analysis in the fields of cognitive science, organizational studies, knowledge theory, sociology and education studies, among others. Other approaches include the development of quantitative methods and tools based on the large volume capture of fragmented anecdotal material, and that which is self signified or indexed at the point of capture. Narrative Inquiry challenges the philosophy behind quantitative/grounded data-gathering and questions the idea of “objective” data, however, it has been criticized for not being “theoretical enough."