Narrative agency

Tom van Laer, Davide C. Orazi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


While narrative theory acknowledges that consuming a text is both an act of interpretation and creation, some texts offer more agency to create than others. To extend current narrative theory, we introduce narrative agency: the ability to control the development of the story characters and plot, with lasting changes to the narrative world. We first explain how narrative agency stems from spatial embeddedness and character embodiment and then use the three constructs to offer a typology of narrative consumption. We then set an agenda for future research centered on (1) the implications that space and body have for narrative agency, (2) how consumers negotiate interactions and ownership in highly agentic narrative consumption, and (3) the dynamics of return and transformation after highly agentic narrative journeys.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)95-105
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of The Association For Consumer Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2024

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