Biography as a Spatial Frame of Meanings: A Proxemic Analysis in Pedagogical Narrative Analysis

Keywords: proxemic analysis, qualitative research, categorization, entity, educational implications, synergy


This article presents a method for qualitative data analysis, which is called proxemic analysis. This method was based on a didactic method of structural analysis of narratives (Knecht & Knecht, 1992; Zirker, 1991). A proxemic analysis consists in working with data and indicating five categories in the text – actors, places, time, values, and expectations – and building them using elements, called entities. During the next stage, the researcher discovers the understanding of these categories by defining the relationships between entities. This analysis can be used on narrative texts regardless of the way in which they were obtained (unstructured interviews, diaries, memoirs, autobiographies, etc.). Interpreting the relationships between entities allows the researcher to formulate pedagogical implications, which they may use as a premise for constructing theories and/or activities. The example of the technique presented in this paper, from andragogical research, refers to the study of a life story obtained from a narrative interview.


Achmatowicz-Otok, A., & Otok, S. (1985). Polonia australijska [Polish community in Australia]. Wydawnictwo Lubelskie.

Ahmed, S. (2020). Michel Foucault of other spaces: Utopias and heterotopia. Journal of Research in Applied Natural and Social Science, 8(1–4).

Barber, M. (2002). Modern and postmodern aspects of Scheler’s personalism. In S. Schneck (Ed.), Max Scheler’s acting persons: New perspectives (pp. 19–36). Rodopi.

Barker, R. (2005). CASE* Method. Modelowanie związków encji [CASE method: Modelling entity relationships]. Wydawnictwa Naukowo-Techniczne.

Barthes, R. (1966). Introduction à l’analyse structuraledes récits. [Introduction to the structural analysis of narratives].Communications, 8(1–27).

Bielawski, K. (2014). Χρόνος (chronos) – καιρός (kairos) – αἰών (aion): czas dla filologa [Chronos – kairos – aion: Time for a philologist]. In M. Proszak, A. Szklarska, & A. Żymełka (Eds.) Boska radość powtórzenia: idea wiecznego powrotu [The divine joy of repetition: The idea of eternal return]. Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Jagiellońskiego.

Bogdan, R., & Biklen, S. K. (2003). Qualitative research for education: An introduction to theory and methods (4th ed.). Allyn and Bacon.

Chen, P. P.-S. (1976). The entity–relationship model: Toward a unified view of data. ACM Transactions on Database System, 1(9–36).

Ciechowska, M. (2020). Qualitative research as an area to co-existence and co-creation of the subjects of research – pupils and teachers: From a teacher filled with the spirit of research through living laboratories to the creative research and the research that creates. Przegląd Badań Edukacyjnych, 1(30), 247–267.

Ciechowska, M., & Walulik, A. (2018). Integral upbringing in the perspective of pedagogical qualitative research. Paedagogia Christiana, 2(42), 85–100.

Coffey, A., & Atkinson, P. (1996). Making sense of qualitative data: Complementary research strategies. Sage Publications, Inc.

Denzin, N. K. (2009). The research act: A theoretical introduction to sociological methods. Aldine Transaction.

Denzin, N. K., & Lincoln, Y. S. (Eds.). (2005). The Sage handbook of qualitative research (3rd ed.). Sage Publications Ltd.

Glaser, B. G., & Strauss, A. (2017). The discovery of grounded theory: Strategies for qualitative research. Routledge Taylor & Francis Group.

Hall, E. (1988). The hidden dimension. Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group.

Knecht, L., & Knecht, M. (1992). Lebendige Bibelarbeit. Herder.

Krysztofik, J., Piestrzyńska, A., & Walulik, A. (2016). Strukturalna analiza biblijnych tekstów narracyjnych – implikacje pedagogiczne [Structural analysis of biblical narrative texts – pedagogical implications]. Jakościowe Badania Pedagogiczne 1, 49–60. DOI: 10.18276/jbp.2016.1.1-04

Marek, Z. (2017). Pedagogika towarzyszenia. Perspektywa tradycji ignacjańskiej [Pedagogy of accompaniment: A perspective from the Ignatian tradition]. Akademia Ignatianum w Krakowie.

Marek, Z., & Walulik, A. (2019). Pedagogika świadectwa: Perspektywa antropologiczno-kerygmatyczna [Pedagogy of witness: An anthropological and kerygmatic perspective]. Wydawnictwo Naukowe Akademii Ignatianum w Krakowie.

Mendel, M., & Męczkowska, A. (2006). Kategoria miejsca w pedagogice [Category of place in pedagogy]. In M. Mendel (Ed.), Pedagogika miejsca (pp. 21–51). DSW.

Merriam, Sharan B. (1998). Qualitative research and case study applications in education (2nd ed.). Jossey-Bass Publishers.

Mółka, M. (2018). Między inkluzją a ekskluzją w resocjalizacji [Between inclusion and exclusion in rehabilitation]. Wydawnictwo Naukowe Akademii Ignatianum w Krakowie, Wydawnictwo WAM.

Murchadha, F. Ó. (2013). The time of revolution: Kairos and chronos in Heidegger. Bloomsbury Publishing.

Musaio, M. (2021). Pedagogy and personalism: Fundamental references of education between emergencies and search for meaning. Paedagogia Christiana, 1(47), 15–35.

Scheler, M. (1992). On feeling, knowing, and valuing: Selected writings. The University of Chicago Press.

Scheler, M. (2009). The human place in the Cosmos. Northwestern University Press.

Smith, J. E. (1969). Time, times, and the “right time”: “Chronos” and “kairos”. The Monist, 53, 1–13.

Szymańska, M., & Zelek, G. (2018). Role and meaning of formation in teacher integral development. Paedagogia Christiana, 2(42), 165–180.

Trochim, W. (2020, April 16). Research methods knowledge base.

Walulik, A. (2011). Moderacyjne i synergiczne kształtowanie dorosłości. Propozycja typologii modeli znaczeń wiedzy religijnej na przykładzie Korespondencyjnego Kursu Biblijnego [Moderating and synergistic formation of adulthood: Proposal of a typology of models of meaning of religious knowledge on the example of a Correspondence Bible Course]. WSFP Ignatianum, WAM.

Zirker, H. (1991). Bibel-Lesen. Zur Methode. In von H. Zirker, G. Hilger, T. Aurelio, C. Bussmann, F. J. Schierse, & K. Sorger (Eds.), Zugänge zu biblischen Texten (pp. 18–27). Patmos.

How to Cite
Walulik, A. (2022). Biography as a Spatial Frame of Meanings: A Proxemic Analysis in Pedagogical Narrative Analysis. Multidisciplinary Journal of School Education, 11(1 (21), 131-150.