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Heightened Performative Autoethnography

Resisting Oppressive Spaces within Paradigms


William M. Sughrua

This book argues for – and carries out – what the author terms Heightened Performative Autoethnography (HPA). The common theme throughout the volume involves resisting oppressive and hegemonic spaces within paradigms, and hence seeking epistemological liberation. The text methodologically and conceptually situates this newly proposed variant of autoethnography, while contextualizing and justifying its «performed or enacted» theme involving resistance against the oppressiveness of paradigms. The book concludes with an analysis and commentary, demonstrating how this particular theme, and HPA as a research and writing repertoire, are able to meaningfully respond to the eighth moment of contemporary qualitative research, which calls for a critical and social justice agenda directed at empowerment, equity, liberation, and related issues. Heightened Performative Autoethnography could be used in upper-level undergraduate classes and graduate courses within the social sciences, humanities, and education, for courses on critical theory, contemporary research methodology, performative studies, narrative writing, and related subjects.
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Chapter 3: The Last Half of the Trip: From Autoethnography to Heightened Performative Autoethnography


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From Autoethnography to Heightened Performative Autoethnography

The mismatch between reflexivity and IMRD, as briefly discussed at the end of the previous chapter, serves as a good lead-in to autoethnography, which along with narrative ethnography and hard ethnography is a major type of ethnography. Please allow me to belabor this point on reflexivity a little more here. I then spend the rest of this chapter discussing autoethnography; describing its principal types; presenting what I propose as a new variant of autoethnography, that termed “heightened performative” (HPA); and thereby situating HPA within critical and social justice concerns. One such concern, in this book, involves epistemological liberation by way of paradigm resistance. This becomes the theme discussed in Chapter 4. Putting into practice this paradigm theme (Chapter 4) by way of the HPA methodology or repertoire (Chapter 2; present Chapter 3), the performative core of this book consists of separate HPA papers presented as Chapters 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9. To continue in the construction of the stage for these upcoming performative chapters, I now retake the methodological discussion begun in previous Chapter 2, moving forward from narrative ethnography. I thus begin with a definition of autoethnography and then go into reflexivity, IMRD, performativity, and audience.

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