Norman K. Denzin feels that now is the time to take stock of reflexive performance, ethnography, and autoethnography; to evaluate where each has been and where they are going, especially as they pertain to the study of democracy and racism in postmodern America.
In Performance Ethnography, one of the world's most distinguished authorities on qualitative research, established the initial published connection of performance narratives with performance ethnography and autoethnography; the linkage of these formations to critical pedagogy and critical race theory; and the histories of these formations, and shown how they may be connected.
Performance Ethnography is divided into three parts. Part I covers pedagogy, ethnography, performance, and theory as the foundation for a performative social science. Part II addresses the worlds of family, nature, praxis, and action, employing a structure that is equal parts memoir, essay, short story, and literary autoethnography. Part III examines the ethics and practical politics of performance autoethnography, anchored in the post-9/11 discourse in the United States. The amalgam serves as an invitation for social scientists and ethnographers to confront the politics of cultural studies and explore the multiple ways in which performance and ethnography can be both better understood and used as mechanisms for social change and economic justice.