Writing Autoethnography

The Personal, Poetic, and Performative as Compositional Strategies

Authored by: Ronald J. Pelias

Handbook of Autoethnography

Print publication date:  April  2013
Online publication date:  May  2016

Print ISBN: 9781598746006
eBook ISBN: 9781315427812
Adobe ISBN: 9781315427805


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This is a story about writing autoethnography, about how autoethnographic texts might be constructed. Like any tale, it reflects its teller. I offer a narrative that reflects my own sense-making, my own biases and interests, and my own limitations. I move forward by reaching toward a number of qualitative methods (e.g., personal narrative, autobiography, lyric essay, poetic inquiry, ethnodrama, performative writing) that carry their own genre status and nuances, positioned around the headings of the personal, the poetic, and the performative, to show how autoethnography orchestrates the writing strategies of a number of other associated methods to create its texts. My aim in this rendering, then, is to provide some insights into how an autoethnography might find its form, might meet its demands.

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