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Process, Product, and Possibility for Critical Social Research

November 2016 | 272 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
2020 Society of Professors of Education Outstanding Book Award winner

Autoethnography: Process, Product, and Possibility for Critical Social Research
provides a short introduction to the methodological tools and concepts of autoethnography, combining theoretical approaches with practical “how to” information. Written for social science students, teachers, teacher educators, and educational researchers, the text shows readers how autoethnographers collect, analyze, and report data. With its grounding in critical social theory and inclusion of innovative methods, this practical resource will move the field of autoethnography forward.

About the Authors
Chapter 1. Autoethnography: Introduction and Overview
Focus Your Reading

Histories of Autoethnography

Defined Functions of Autoethnography Applied as Critical Social Research

Concluding Thoughts

Group Activity

Individual Activity

Sites for Students to Consider

Chapter 2. Mining and Priming Critical Social Theory for Autoethnography
Focus Your Reading

What Is Theory?

What Is Social Theory?

What Is Critical Social Theory?

Emergent Critical Social Theorizing in Autoethnography

Guidelines for Infusing Theory into Autoethnography

Concluding Thoughts

Individual Activity

Individual and Two-Person Group Activity

Sites for Students to Consider

Chapter 3. First Guiding Process: Problematizing What You Know for New-Self Insight
Focus Your Reading

Theoretical Foundation

Designing Autoethnography: Problematizing Data Collection and Analysis Strategies

Deciding to Do Autoethnography: Problematizing a Linear Approach to Self-Exploration

Directing Autoethnography: Problematizing Uniformed Applications

Problematizing Ethics and Institutional Review Board Approval

Concluding Thoughts

Individual Activity

Individual and Group Activity

Sites for Students to Consider

Chapter 4. Second Guiding Process: Legitimizing Autoethnography With Three Approaches
Focus Your Reading

Theoretical Foundations of Legitimizing


Three Approaches to Legitimizing Autoethnography

Concluding Thoughts

Group Activity

Individual Activity

Sites for Students to Consider

Chapter 5. Third Guiding Process: Synthesizing New-Self Insights With MICA
Focus Your Reading

What Is Qualitative Meta-Synthesis?

What Is Meta-Autoethnography?

Introducing MICA

Sample Application of the MICA Method

Synthesis as Translation: A Reciprocal Analogy

Concluding Thoughts

Group Activity

Individual Activity

Sites for Students to Consider

Chapter 6. The Possibility of Autoethnography as Critically Reflexive Action Research
Focus Your Reading

The Origins and Elements of CRAR

Selection Process for Autoethnography Literature to Consider as CRAR

Finding Autoethnographies Demonstrating CRAR

Applying the CRAR Checklist/Rubric to Laubscher and Powell

Applying the CRAR Checklist/Rubric to Hughes

Concluding Thoughts: Toward Communicative Competence and Communicative Praxis

Concluding Thoughts

Group Activity

Individual Activity

Sites for Students to Consider

Chapter 7. Anticipating the Future of Autoethnography as Critical Social Research
Focus Your Reading

Growth and Creativity, Yet Sustained Skepticism and Criticism

Taking Healthy Risks: Growth in Autoethnographic Dissertations

Addressing Gaps in Autoethnography for the Future of the Genre

Publishing Autoethnography: Journals and Academic Publishers

Toward an Evolving Online Reading List for Autoethnography

A. Autoethnography Data Representation: An Example
B. Sample Undergraduate Mini-Autoethnography Student Work
C. Sample Mini-Autoethnography Midterm Assignment— Undergraduate Level
D. Sample Syllabus for an Autoethnography Course—Graduate Level

“A very thorough and thoughtful introduction to and explanation of autoethnography. This text explores the historical foundations, theoretical frameworks, and future directions of autoethnography as both process and product. The book is an important and useful book to add to the qualitative researcher’s library and a great overview for those new to autoethnography.”

Xyanthe Neider
Washington State University

“This book seeks to accomplish a great service for those of us interested and working with qualitative research. The quest for a solid text on autoethnography that balances epistemological and methodological concerns is lacking, and this text addresses those gaps.”

Kenneth Fasching-Varner
Louisiana State University

“This text proposes activities that aim to teach self-reflexivity and explicate how to engage in autoethnographic inquiry. Such a hands-on, applied approach is key for learning this mode of inquiry.”

Amy Heuman
Texas Tech University

“Impressive in its scope, the text is intuitively sequenced, incorporates a tremendous amount of relevant information, as well as examples that leave the reader craving more.”

Lois McFadyen Christensen
University of Alabama at Birmingham

“The material in this book is well researched and offers a wide array of specific theories and methods with which to ground your work. It will be an excellent read for experienced researchers who would like to strengthen their background in autoethnography.”

Jeanne L Surface
University of Nebraska Omaha

“This exhaustively-researched text is the most comprehensive work on the subject that I have encountered.”

Peter H. Khost
Stony Brook University

“This book provides not only a particularly clear overview and historical framing of the methodology; it invites readers into a meaningful and critical enactment and experience with autoethnography.”

Angela C. Coffee
Century College

“The diversity of autoethnography practices illustrated here is amazing…. This book has the potential to open up the concept of autoethnography in many creative and inspiring ways.”

Mirka Koro-Ljungberg
Arizona State University

“The authors have taken to task quite a challenge. To strategically discuss a methodology of such takes insight, preciseness, and wonder. All three things the authors seem to have in spades. We as practitioners, visionaries, scholars, and researchers have access to a text that wonderfully examines the complexities and nuances of auto-ethnography in a way that can be useful in and outside the classroom.”

Joquina Reed
Texas A&M International University

“I am much more informed about autoethnography because of this text; while there was much I knew, I learned so many things reading through this book.”

Nicholas E. Husbye
University of Missouri, St. Louis
Key features

  • A unique chapter on meta-synthesizing autoethnography opens up new possibilities for the method and helps move the field forward.
  • Chapter-opening previews alert readers to important concepts to master.
  • Informative text boxes within each chapter highlight key information.
  • Chapter-ending individual and group activities get students actively involved with ideas and processes.
  • A complete glossary helps readers master the vocabulary of the field.
  • Detailed charts, figures, and illustrations clarify key concepts in a memorable way.
  • Appendices provide exemplary learning aids to help readers engage autoethnography as a process, product, and possibility for critical social research.

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 1

Chapter 7

For instructors

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