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    The Role of Autoethnography within Anthropology (How Self Narrative is a Useful Research Tool in Social Science)

    Cluxton-Corley, Veronica (2017) The Role of Autoethnography within Anthropology (How Self Narrative is a Useful Research Tool in Social Science). PhD thesis, National University of Ireland Maynooth.

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    This thesis explores the potential of Autoethnography in researching and representing social and cultural phenomena with the self as central. Its primary contribution to the extant literature is to provide a robust analysis of literature and texts, which fall broadly under the Autoethnography heading in order to contribute to the conversation of the place of Autoethnography as a reliable, valuable and ultimately necessary research approach within the academy. Autoethnography emerged to address the ‘something missing’ within research through a recognition and appreciation for narrative, both literary and aesthetic, and the emotions and the body as sources of research. The Autoethnographic Mode of Inquiry brings research to life as it supplements, complements, confirms and denies aspects of previous ethnographic research. Autoethnography is also extremely challenging, and thus reflects the trustworthiness of the self as a reliable resource in research and the positive and negative consequences of it. The research and methodology for this thesis combines a robust review and analysis of literature presented by both exponents and detractors of the method. The review and analysis also provide the structure for the thesis, which begins with examining what Autoethnography is, exploring its origins as the Study of One’s Own Culture, to what it has become, a Study of Cultural Phenomena from The Perspective of Personal Experience. Having appraised six texts that could be broadly claimed Autoethnographic, this thesis identified and offers examples of four categories of Autoethnography: The Study of One’s Own Culture; Second Generation Autoethnography (or Ethnic Identity Ethnography); Anthropologists’ Autoethnographies and Self-Reflective Experiential Autoethnography. Contextually, Irish texts are explored to highlight the correspondence between Autoethnography and ethnography and to illustrate how different perspectives focus on distinct issues. Due to the sensitive nature of Autoethnographic topics, and its actors, ethical consequences are also discussed. Additionally, criticism of and resistance to Autoethnography is considered. Finally, Autoethnography the new frontiers of foci for researchers, educators, and academics are outlined. These provide an opportunity to address social issues and concerns previously unspoken but which affect people and society on a daily basis. The thesis concludes by suggesting that Autoethnography, as a self-reflective method, contributes to Contemplative/Existential Anthropology, where Contemplative pedagogy offers an opportunity for researchers and readers to consider their position in life, give it meaning and make it better.

    Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
    Keywords: Role; Autoethnography; Anthropology; Self Narrative; Useful Research Tool; Social Science;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > Anthropology
    Item ID: 10410
    Depositing User: IR eTheses
    Date Deposited: 09 Jan 2019 09:59
      Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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