Biographic-Narrative Interpretive Method (BNIM)

Association for Psychosocial Studies

in collaboration with the

Birkbeck Institute for Social Research

The Biographic-Narrative Interpretive Method (BNIM) for Research Interviewing

Friday 6 November 2015| 1.00 – 5.00pm | Room G04, 43 Gordon Square, Birkbeck, London WC1H 0PD


This is the second workshop in our new series, “New Developments in Psychosocial Methods”, organised by  The Association for Psychosocial Studies and BISR.


Speaker: Tom Wengraf


About BNIM


BNIM is a strongly psycho-societal research method, enabling the exploration and integrative interpretation of psycho-dynamics and socio-dynamics. Finding good methods for doing social research that are genuinely concerned, on the one hand,  with the macro-societal and the meso-institutional and, on the other,  with subjectivity(ies) and  ‘inner worlds’ is not easy.  Recently, BNIM’s interpretation procedure has  been enriched in order to explore more explicitly than before not just the ‘situated subjectivity’ at the moment of the interview but also earlier successive states of subjectivity over the life-period being explored, each of these successive states of situated subjectivity being seen as contradictory configurations.


Over its short life of 20 or so years, BNIM has tended to become used in projects that are more deeply psychological and more complexly sociological, going beyond psychological and sociological reductionisms. As a framework for this, some have found helpful a revised Critical Realism approach. BNIM trainings have been taking place for over fourteen years in the UK and in Ireland, as well as in New Zealand,Slovenia, USA,  Australia, Spain and Portugal.


This workshop


The BNIM interview is carefully structured into two core (plus one optional) separate sub-sessions. The BNIM interpretation process is carefully structured into two separate interpretive tracks, which – after the second track is completed – are brought together into a unified history of the case evolution which can be used to yield a structural case account in relation to your central research question.


This BNIM ‘Taster Half-Day’ will give you hands-on experience of doing a short BNIM interview (the two sub-session core) and also of doing a key part of the (twin-track) methodology for interpreting the interview material.  Though necessarily short, it will give you an authentic flavour of what it feels like to do BNIM, an unusual experience.


A Quick Outline Sketch of BNIM is available free from


View the flyer – here


This event is open to all, but places are limited. Registration and payment are essential – book your place here
£30 Standard | £20 APS Members/Birkbeck Staff | £10 All Students & Unwaged


(If you cannot afford the fee, please get in touch with the BISR Manager, Reina Goodwin-van der Wiel, on