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Year : 2003  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 45-56

Strengthening social fabric through narrative theatre

1 senior lecturer in the School of Psychology at Durban-Westville University in South Africa and serves as an international consultant on training programmes for HIV/AIDS counselling, development projects and psycho-social programmes
2 Professor in the School of Psychology at Durban-Westville University in South Africa and has extensive international research and evaluation experience in health promotion and social psychology

Correspondence Address:
Yvonne Sliep
Private Bag X54001, Durban 4000, South Africa

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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In this paper, Narrative Theatre is described as a means of strengthening the social fabric in dislocated communities. In the first part, we describe basic theoretical constructs underlying the social foundation of human functioning. The key elements are bonding and bridging as dynamic features of social fabric. This is followed by a brief discussion of the emancipatory roots of Narrative Theatre. In the third part, we give a conceptual framework based on deconstructing problem stories and reconstructing the emancipatory opportunities in the preferred strength-based story. The concepts of critical consciousness and reflexivity form part of the framework. Lastly we briefly present a case study that illustrates the use of Narrative Theatre as a powerful tool to promote individual and community social action and mental health.

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