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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 4: Paradigm Resistance Leading to Epistemological Liberation


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At the core of this book are four papers utilizing what I propose as “heightened performative autoethnography” (HPA) in order to dramaturgically render the critical-oriented theme of seeking epistemological liberation by way of resisting or combating oppressive spaces within paradigms. These four papers, albeit separate and self-standing, make for one collective HPA performance of paradigm resistance. This performance consists of Chapters 5 to 9. To help construct the stage for Chapters 5 to 9, previous Chapters 2 and 3 have directed themselves to the “methodological” dimension of the performance (i.e., HPA), while present Chapter 4 now turns to the “thematic” dimension involving paradigm resistance.

What is a paradigm? As stated in Chapter 1, a paradigm is a general way of envisioning or understanding the world, as consciously or unconsciously co-created and shared among members of a social group or community (Gilbert, 2008, p. 511; Guba & Lincoln, 1998, p. 208). This notion of community is inclusive. It could, for instance, be an academic community. Paraphrasing from science philosopher Kuhn (1962/2012) to whom “paradigm studies” are attributed, Tuffin (2005) describes a paradigm as the “broad set of … assumptions, beliefs, and philosophies … shared by those who conduct research within a particular community” (p. 59). This overall perspective shared by a research or academic community is constructed ← 59 | 60 → by those “past scientific achievements” such as research, publications, conferences, and seminars that “the scientific community acknowledges for...

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