The process of learning qualitative research has altered dramatically and this Handbook explores the growth, change, and complexity within the topic and looks back over its history to assess the current state of the art, and indicate possible future directions. Moving beyond textbook rehearsals of standard issues, the book examines key methodological debates and conflicts, approaching them in a critical, discursive manner.
Chapter 8: Autoethnography as Sensibility
Autoethnography as Sensibility
Autoethnography – Blurred Genres
The concept of autoethnography is best understood as a heuristic device, a metaphorical learning tool. The very term — auto-ethnography, auto/ethnography, autoethnography (with a dash, with a slash, with the wink of an eye) — suggests this sort of use. We all know what ethnography is: in a generic sense it is ‘writing about or describing people and culture’ (Ellis, 2004: 26); in a more politically and historically inflected sense it has been described as ‘a means by which Europeans represent to themselves their (usually subjugated) others’ (Pratt, 1992: 7). Imagine what possibilities emerge for linking self to the ‘writing of culture’ when ‘auto’ is tacked onto ‘ethnography.’ So far in its fairly short history the heuristic, ...