Margaret Somerville This lecture asks: How can education research address the big questions of our time, and what has politics got to do with it? It will trace moments and movements of researcher- un becoming to explore the micro politics of a lifetime of educational research. Politics is understood as both intimate and immense, as the intertwined politics of global conditions, and of the nation, with the intimately personal.
A researcher uses tenets of autobiography and ethnography to do and write autoethnography. Thus, as a method, autoethnography is both process and product.
Many of these scholars turned to autoethnography because they were seeking a positive response to critiques of canonical ideas about what research is and how research should be done.
Autoethnographers recognize the innumerable ways personal experience influences the research process. For instance, a researcher decides who, what, when, where, and how to research, decisions necessarily tied to institutional requirements e.
A researcher may also change names and places for protection FINE,compress years of research into a single text, and construct a study in a pre-determined way e. Consequently, autoethnography is one of the approaches that acknowledges and accommodates subjectivity, emotionality, and the researcher's influence on research, rather than hiding from these matters or assuming they don't exist.
Following these conventions, a researcher not only disregards other ways of knowing but also implies that other ways necessarily are unsatisfactory and invalid.
Autoethnography, on the other hand, expands and opens up a wider lens on the world, eschewing rigid definitions of what constitutes meaningful and useful research; this approach also helps us understand how the kinds of people we claim, or are perceived, to be influence interpretations of what we study, how we study it, and what we say about our topic ADAMS, ; WOOD, The Process As a method, autoethnography combines characteristics of autobiography and ethnography.
When writing an autobiography, an author retroactively and selectively writes about past experiences. While epiphanies are self-claimed phenomena in which one person may consider an experience transformative richardson 2000 writing a method of inquiry definition another may not, these epiphanies reveal ways a person could negotiate "intense situations" and "effects that linger—recollections, memories, images, feelings—long after a crucial incident is supposedly finished" BOCHNER,p.
However, in addition to telling about experiences, autoethnographers often are required by social science publishing conventions to analyze these experiences. Otherwise [you're] telling [your] story—and that's nice—but people do that on Oprah [a U. Why is your story more valid than anyone else's?
What makes your story more valid is that you are a researcher. You have a set of theoretical and methodological tools and a research literature to use. If you can't frame it around these tools and literature and just frame it as 'my story,' then why or how should I privilege your story over anyone else's I see 25 times a day on TV?
Most often through the use of conversation, showing allows writers to make events engaging and emotionally rich. Adding some "telling" to a story that "shows" is an efficient way to convey information needed to appreciate what is going on, and a way to communicate information that does not necessitate the immediacy of dialogue and sensuous engagement.
Sometimes autobiographers may use first-person to tell a story, typically when they personally observed or lived through an interaction and participated in an intimate and immediate "eyewitness account" CAULEY,p.
Sometimes autobiographers may use second-person to bring readers into a scene, to actively witness, with the author, an experience, to be a part of rather than distanced from an event e. Sometimes autobiographers may use third-person to establish the context for an interaction, report findings, and present what others do or say CAULEY, Autoethnographic Potentials, Issues, and Criticisms 4.
Here the emphasis is on the ethnographic study of others, which is accomplished partly by attending to encounters between the narrator and members of the groups being studied TEDLOCK,and the narrative often intersects with analyses of patterns and processes.
Though the focus is on the participant and her or his story, the words, thoughts, and feelings of the researcher also are considered, e.
Even though the researcher's experience isn't the main focus, personal reflection adds context and layers to the story being told about participants ELLIS, This form emphasizes the procedural nature of research.
But unlike grounded theory, layered accounts use vignettes, reflexivity, multiple voices, and introspection ELLIS, to "invoke" readers to enter into the "emergent experience" of doing and writing research RONAI,p.
Interactive interviews are collaborative endeavors between researchers and participants, research activities in which researchers and participants—one and the same—probe together about issues that transpire, in conversation, about particular topics e.
Interactive interviews usually consist of multiple interview sessions, and, unlike traditional one-on-one interviews with strangers, are situated within the context of emerging and well-established relationships among participants and interviewers ADAMS, Community autoethnographies thus not only facilitate "community-building" research practices but also make opportunities for "cultural and social intervention" possible p.
Co-constructed narratives view relationships as jointly-authored, incomplete, and historically situated affairs. Joint activity structures co-constructed research projects.
Personal narratives propose to understand a self or some aspect of a life as it intersects with a cultural context, connect to other participants as co-researchers, and invite readers to enter the author's world and to use what they learn there to reflect on, understand, and cope with their own lives ELLIS,p.
For example, in the United States, during the s, feminist Betty FRIEDAN identified the "problem that has no name"—the "vague, chronic discontent" many White, middle-class women experienced because of not being able to engage in "personal development," particularly of not being able to work outside of the home in equal, supportive working environments WOOD,p.
Isolated to home-work for most of the day, these women did not have the opportunity to share stories of discontent; thus, they felt alone in their struggle, as if their isolation and feelings were issues with which they had to contend personally.
We live connected to social networks that include friends and relatives, partners and children, co-workers and students, and we work in universities and research facilities. Consequently, when we conduct and write research, we implicate others in our work.
For instance, if a woman studies and develops anti-smoking campaigns within a university, tobacco companies may refrain from financially contributing to the university because of her research; even though she is doing the research herself, she may speak on behalf of others—in this case, on behalf of her university.
For instance, if a son tells a story that mentions his mother, she is implicated by what he says; it is difficult to mask his mother without altering the meaning and purpose of the story. Similar to people identifiable in a community study such as the minister, town mayor, or other elected official, the author's mother is easily recognizable.
Or if an autoethnographer writes a story about a particular neighbor's racist acts, the neighbor is implicated by the words even though the autoethnographer may never mention the name of the neighbor ELLIS, She may try to mask the location of the community, but it does not take much work to find out where she lives and, consequently, may not take much work to identify the neighbor about whom she speaks.Richardson L Writing a method of inquiry In Denzin N K and Lincoln Y S Eds from ENGG at University of Notre Dame.
As Laurel Richardson articulates "I consider writing as a method of inquiry, a way of finding out about a topic form and content are inseparable" (, p. ).
Title ~pp15F8 Created Date: /06/17 Autoethnography is an approach to research and writing that seeks to describe and systematically analyze (graphy) personal experience (auto) in order to understand cultural experience (ethno) (ELLIS, ; HOLMAN JONES, ).
This approach challenges canonical ways of doing research and representing others (SPRY, ) and treats research as a political, socially-just and socially . Autoethnography is an approach to research and writing that seeks to describe and systematically analyze personal experience in order to understand cultural experience.
This approach challenges canonical ways of doing research and representing others and treats research as a political, socially-just and socially-conscious act. The pieces illustrate poetic inquiry as a mode of working deliberately and imaginatively with memories to produce evocative insights into teaching and learning.