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Greg McVerry

Autoethnography: an overview

Autoethnography is an approach to research and writing that seeks to describe and systematically analyze (graphy) personal experience (auto) in order to understand cultural experience (ethno) (Ellis, 2004; Holman Jones, 2005). This approach challenges canonical ways of doing research and representing others (Spry, 2001) and treats research as a political, socially-just and socially-con-scious act (Adams & Holman Jones, 2008).

they wanted to concentrate on ways of producing meaningful, accessible, and evocative research grounded in personal experience, research that would sensitize readers to issues of iden-tity politics, to experiences shrouded in silence, and to forms of representation that deepen our capacity to empathize with people who are different from us (Ellis & Bochner, 2000).

Furthermore, scholars began recognizing that different kinds of people pos-sess different assumptions about the world – a multitude of ways of speaking, writing, valuing and believing – and that conventional ways of doing and think-ing about research were narrow, limiting, and parochial.

those who advocate and insist on canonical forms of doing and writ-ing research are advocating a White, masculine, heterosexual, middle/upper-classed, Christian, able-bodied perspective.

As a method, autoethnography combines characteristics of autobiography and ethnography.

autobiographers write about “epiphanies” – remembered mo-ments perceived to have significantly impacted the trajectory of a person’s life (Bochner & Ellis, 1992; Couser, 1997; Denzin, 1989), times of existential crises that forced a person to attend to and analyze lived experience (Zaner, 2004), and events after which life does not seem quite the same.

Hmmm I am doing mine on learning to explore the emerging heurstic of agentive apprenticeship as a definition of learning in networked spaces.

When researchers do ethnography, they study a culture’s relational prac-tices, common values and beliefs, and shared experiences for the purpose of helping insiders (cultural members) and outsiders (cultural strangers) better

When researchers do autoethnography, they retrospectively and selectively write about epiphanies that stem from, or are made possible by, being part of a culture and/or by possessing a particular cultural identity.

An autobiography should be aesthetic and evocative, engage readers, and use conventions of storytelling such as character, scene, and plot development (Ellis & Ellingson, 2000), and/or chronological or fragmented story progression (Didion, 2005; Frank, 1995).

When researchers write ethnographies, they produce a “thick description” of a culture (Geertz, 1973, p. 10; Goodall, 2001).

When researchers write autoethnographies, they seek to produce aesthetic and evocative thick descriptions of personal and interpersonal experience.

Thus, the autoethnographer not only tries to make personal experience meaningful and cultural experience engaging, but also, by producing accessible texts, she or he may be able to reach wider and more diverse mass audiences that traditional research usually disregards

Narrative ethnographies refer to texts presented in the form of stories that incorporate the ethnographer’s experiences into the ethnographic descriptions and analysis of others

Reflexive ethnographies document ways a researcher changes as a result of doing fieldwork. Reflexive/narrative ethnographies exist on a continuum rang-ing from starting research from the ethnographer’s biography, to the ethnogra-pher studying her or his life alongside cultural members’ lives, to ethnographic memoirs

But unlike grounded theory, layered accounts use vignettes, reflexivity, multiple voices, and introspection (Ellis, 1991) to “invoke” readers to enter into the “emergent experience” of doing and writing research (Ronai, 1992, p. 123), conceive of identity as an “emergent process” (Rambo, 2005, p. 583)

Community autoethnographies thus not only facilitate “community-building” research practices but also make opportunities for “cultural and social intervention” possible (p. 59; see Karofff & Schönberger, 2010)

Writing is a way of knowing, a method of inquiry (Richardson, 2000). Conse-quently, writing personal stories can be therapeutic for authors as we write to make sense of ourselves and our experiences (Kiesinger, 2002; Poulos, 2008), purge our burdens (Atkinson, 2007), and question canonical stories – conven-tional, authoritative, and “projective” storylines that “plot” how “ideal social selves” should live (Tololyan, 1987, p. 218; Bochner, 2001, 2002).

These “relational ethics” are heightened for autoethnographers (Ellis, 2007). In using personal experience, autoethnographers not only implicate themselves with their work, but also close, intimate others (Adams, 2006; Etherington, 2007; Trahar, 2009).

Furthermore, autoethnographers often maintain and value interpersonal ties with their participants, thus making relational ethics more complicated. Partici-pants often begin as or become friends through the research process.

For an autoethnographer, questions of reliability refer to the narrator’s credibility. Could the narrator have had the experiences described, given avail-able “factual evidence”?

For autoethnographers, validity means that a work seeks verisimilitude; it evokes in readers a feeling that the experience described is lifelike, believable, and possible, a feeling that what has been represented could be true. The story is coherent. It connects readers to writers and provides continuity in their lives.

In autoethnography, the focus of generalizabil-ity moves from respondents to readers, and is always being tested by readers as they determine if a story speaks to them about their experience or about the lives of others they know;

Greg McVerry



we
fill our poems
with trees and birds
rarely do we atone
for screams of,
  "I can't breathe"
sheltering stanzas
of cultural melanism
getting darker
     sung on
songs of the first griot
Our presence isn't a crime
but our silence is

Greg McVerry

Sounds swoon
Kora talks
in voices of West African
djelis
wind blowing through
strings
feeds me, feeds me
with sounds of choir
dissolve words into sounds
scat a a tat do do just dat
A silence in presence
a divinity in devotion
beyond time


Found Poem from Kurtis Lamkin

Greg McVerry

Total silence
only found in
constant chatter
of falling rain
answers glean
in puddles atop
unfurling leaves
hiding the spring's
truth


Greg McVerry

#Poetry: A Poem in Five Parts #smallpoems #writingcommunity

unleash
holes in broken
nows
who claw
through glass
eyes
in hopes of
refactoring
a better tomorrow

Let desire
drive destiny
Set fire and
knives to
Those
Flee
A reality
Me rooted
In thee

I write
  No choice.
       words bleed
into screeds
      seeking
silence
    in a broken soul
pen picking up pieces
and
            wrapping poems
     in pixels

Poetry
allows my
scar tissue
to breath
Whispers
slicing wounds
as words seek
needs
to
bleed

Poetry.
My rudder
to navigate
interstates
  of being

Greg McVerry

I write
  No choice.
       words bleed
into screeds
      seeking
silence
    in a broken soul
pen picking up pieces
and
            wrapping poems
     in pixels


Greg McVerry

Poetry is silence
collecting in
    gasps
of disbelief
       on tongues
of tortured
               truths

Greg McVerry

Poetry As Play #Poetyport #clmooc #smallpoems

Given today's poetry prompt of play I had to try something I have never done before: Remix a voice poem in GarageBand

screen shot of garage band with 9 voice tracks

In the shower I came up with the phrase "majestic, frenetic, poetic play", and I thought about how awesome it was for Wendy to play with spoken word in a poetic gift to someone. I wanted to try something new.

So I grabbed a couple phrases from twitter this morning. "Take a Step Back" and "Tinkering As Agentive Feedback" and added "Find Your Answers in Your Poetry and Your Poetry in Your Play"

I then recorded each track...learned you need to silence the other tracks, and then re-recorded all the tracks.

Next I learned you can right click and select "split at masthead" I then moved clips around, played with volume...and of course reverb...cuz you know...rock and roll

 

Also on IndieWeb Poetry Also on CLMOOC Planet

Greg McVerry

@dogtrax Such noise
in the silence of
the seas
quiets the
violence
of verse
as valid
ballads burst
into calm skies

Our north star
pointing a way to
nowhere for it is now
that must be found

Greg McVerry

Thx for Kilpatrick recommendation, I respect his work. I think you should also read folks like @davidekirkland and "Search Past Silence, you frame this as a "fight" between phonics and phonology...it isnt It's about people, other narratives

CLMOOC

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