Sunday, October 12, 2014

Studying Yourself

In the last few years, I have been involved in somewhere between one to three projects that involve some degree of "research about myself" (and, crucially, my interactions with other people). One has been published (Heng Hartse & Kubota 2014), two are in progress, and of these two, one is floundering at the moment.

For now, anyway, here are some notes on methodology references that may be useful to me and to others who find themselves studying themselves and what they are doing.

You'll need access to an academic library -- preferably UBC -- to follow most of the links.

The Wikipedia page on Autoethnography is as good a place as any to start:

Collaborative Autoethnography [UBC eLink]
"...Their book serves as a practical guide by providing you with a variety of data collection, analytic, and writing techniques to conduct collaborative projects. It also answers your questions about the bigger picture: What advantages does a collaborative approach offer to autoethnography? What are some of the methodological, ethical, and interpersonal challenges you’ll encounter along the way? Model collaborative autoethnographies and writing prompts are included in the appendixes. This exceptional, in-depth resource will help you explore this exciting new frontier in qualitative methods."

Spirituality in Higher Education: Autoethnographies [UBC eLink]

"Twenty chapter authors--from a variety of faith traditions--discuss the ways in which their own beliefs have affected their journeys through higher education. By using an autoethnographic, self-analytical lens, this collection shows how various spiritualities have influenced how higher education is understood, taught and performed. The book will stimulate debate and conversations on a topic traditionally ignored in academia."

"Identity Dialectics of the Intercultural Communication Instructor:  Insights from Collaborative Autoethnography" [Link]
ABSTRACT One way to deal with teaching challenges is to share personal stories with other teachers. In this article, four intercultural communication (IC) instructors consider how their teaching narratives provide insight into the dialectical tensions that exist with regard to teacher identity in the classroom, specifically in the context of their IC courses. Using a collaborative approach to autoethnography, we reveal four dialectics that highlight how our identity and intercultural experiences impact our teaching of IC: [1] Objectivity—Subjectivity; [2] Personal—Professional; [3] Learner—Teacher; and [4] Within—Beyond the Comfort Zone. These dialectics invite discussion regarding how IC teachers can navigate these contradictory tensions to be more effective instructors.
Lapadat, Judith C. (2009). Writing our way into shared understanding: Collaborative autobiographical writing in the qualitative methods class. Qualitative Inquiry, 15,955-979 [link]

ABSTRACT From her experience as an instructor, the author finds that it is valuable to engage graduate students in conducting a study within their qualitative methods course. In this article, the author discusses how she used a collaborative autobiographical research approach. Class members generate autobiographical writing to be shared with the group, and then the group collaboratively analyzes and interprets the set of autobiographical materials. The author goes on to describe two examples of collaborative autobiographical projects grounded, respectively, in memory-work and narrative inquiry frameworks. The complexity of autobiographical writing and the value of collaboration are discussed, along with ethical issues relating to role blurring, coresearcher relationships, anonymity, Research Ethics Board timelines, and cycles of consent.

No comments: