Review Essay: Autoethnography: Answerability/Responsibility in Authoring Self and Others in the Social Sciences/Humanities

Mary H. Maguire


ELLIS' methodological novel about autoethnography is an example of the increasing emergence of alternative forms of writing in the social sciences/humanities that focus on a dialogic notion of self, voice and human consciousness. Autoethnography is a genre of writing in which authors draw on their own lived experiences, connect the personal to the cultural and place the self and others within a social context (REED-DANAHAY, 1997). To understand this commitment to self-reflexive ways of knowing and writing, I draw on BAKHTIN's concept of authoring as creative answerability/responsibility (otvetsvennost) that views a self as answerable not only to the social environment, but is also answerable for the authoring of its responses. The Ethnographic I serves as a useful text to engage the issues that autoethnography raises both as genre and alternative discourses for authoring self and others.
URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs0602165


autoethnography; representation; reflexivity; voice; answerability; consciousness

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Copyright (c) 2006 Mary H. Maguire

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