Literary Terms

Metanarrative: In literal terms, a metanarrative means a “big story”.  It represents, in short, an explanation for everything that happens in a society.  In Sociology, the concept of a metanarrative is sometimes referred-to as a “high level theory” or, more-usually, a perspective / ideology. (to learn more see Lyotard)

Counternarrative: a narrative that goes against competing metanarrative and offers an alternative explanation or point of view (for more see Giroux)

Subaltern: In critical theory and postcolonialism, subaltern is the social group who are socially, politically, and geographically outside of the hegemonic power structure of the colony and of the colonial homeland. (to learn more see Spivak)

Counterhegemony:  attempts to critique or dismantle dominant power. In other words it is a confrontation and/or opposition to existing status quo and its legitimacy in politics, but can also be observed in various other spheres of life, such as history, media, music, etc. (Gramsci)

Archetype: recurrent symbols in art and literature. (Jung)