Review Essay: Auto/Biography as Method: Dialectical Sociology of Everyday Life


  • Wolff-Michael Roth University of Victoria



self, other, individual, society, reflexivity, dialectics


Our Lives as Database is the outcome of a project, in which the participant authors practice sociology by writing and analyzing their autobiographies. I review structure and content of the book and provide a sample analysis of one contribution. While the editor of the book makes a convincing argument why writing and analyzing autobiographies collectively is a suitable method for doing sociology, I propose the consideration of a more dialectical perspective on the issue that makes the (dialectical) relations between individual and society and Self and Other more explicit, and provide additional reasons for the feasibility of the project described. As a reflexive moment fitting the context of this review essay, I draw on the same writing genres and techniques as the authors. URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs0204176


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Author Biography

Wolff-Michael Roth, University of Victoria

Wolff-Michael ROTH ( is Lansdowne Professor of applied cognitive science at the University of Victoria. His interdisciplinary research agenda includes studies in science and mathematics education, general education, applied cognitive science, sociology of science, and linguistics (pragmatics). His recent publications include Re/Constructing Elementary Science (with K. TOBIN and S. RITCHIE, Peter Lang, 2001), At the Elbows of Another: Learning to Teach by Coteaching (with K. TOBIN, Peter Lang, 2002), Science Education as/for Sociopolitical Action (ed. with J. DÉSAUTELS, Peter Lang, 2002), and Being and Becoming in the Classroom (Ablex Publishing, 2002).




How to Cite

Roth, W.-M. (2002). Review Essay: Auto/Biography as Method: Dialectical Sociology of Everyday Life. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 3(4).



Methodology and Methods

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