A Millennial Methodology? Autoethnographic Research in Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Punk and Activist Communities

Nathan David Stephens Griffin, Naomi Christina Griffin

Abstract


In a recent MailOnline article, CLEARY described millennials as "entitled, narcissistic, self-interested, unfocussed and lazy" (2017, n.p.). The language echoed DELAMONT's (2007) critique of autoethnography, an approach to research that examines the social world through the lens of the researcher's own experience (WALL, 2016), a form of academic "selfie" (CAMPBELL, 2017). We offer two case studies of autoethnographic projects, one examining punk culture, the other examining the practice of veganism. We highlight the challenges we faced when producing insider autoethnographic research, drawing a parallel with criticism frequently levelled at the so-called millennial generation, specifically notions of laziness and narcissism (TWENGE, 2014). We argue that, though often maligned and ridiculed based on its perception as a lazy and narcissistic approach to research, autoethnography remains a valuable and worthwhile research strategy that attempts to qualitatively and reflexively make sense of the self and society in an increasingly uncertain and precarious world. Using case study evidence, we offer empirical support to WALL's (2016) call for a moderate autoethnography, which seeks a middle ground between analytic and evocative autoethnographic traditions.


Keywords


autoethnography; Do-It-Yourself; punk; activism; veganism; millennials

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.17169/fqs-20.3.3206

Copyright (c) 2019 Nathan David Stephens Griffin, Naomi Griffin

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