Stories inform, reinforce and ultimately control beliefs; and beliefs inform how stories are heard and valued. In a society with advantaged and disadvantaged groups, the predominant narrative generally favors those with power. To rectify that, a counter-story with particular persuasiveness must be crafted and communicated.
But counter-stories are not always the last word. The advantaged group may be heard again, and a variety of techniques may be deployed to soften the counter-story or simply redirect the audience. This article surveys those techniques and their efficacy, but concludes with a modestly optimistic note – since counter-stories arise to address fictions and omissions, they have the value of truth; and the author maintains that “[i]f you shoot enough counterstories at any master narrative, you will find that it is not so invincible after all.”
An additional value is found in this article – once one knows what is in the arsenal that will be directed at the counter-story, the disadvantaged can anticipate and hopefully deflect those responses or inoculate the audience to them. A lesson for the disenfranchised, this is also a lesson for those in the courtroom who will face the likelihood of a rebuttal argument.