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Heightened Performative Autoethnography

Resisting Oppressive Spaces within Paradigms

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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 5: The Pretender: A Challenge to Academic Writing

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THE PRETENDER

A Challenge to Academic Writing

Remember that Jackson Browne concert, so long ago, at Ravinia forest preserve outside of Chicago?1 It was a muggy night. We sat on cardboard sheets on the lawn, in the cheap section, at the far corner of the forest preserve without a view whatsoever of the stage. We were all friends, from grammar school on, three guys and two girls, eighteen or nineteen years old. We had remained close through high school, attending brother and sister Catholic schools, one all-boys, the other all-girls, separated by a football field, and sharing the same gym. We were now home from our first year of studying at different universities downstate, side-state, or out of state, except for one of us, Eddie, who had stayed home, working as a baggage handler at O’Hare airport. It was summer. We had other people with us, each with his or her girlfriend or boyfriend from the college dorms, and Eddie with a girl he had recently met at work. Our respective girl- or boyfriends didn’t talk much. We really didn’t know them very well, and they didn’t know each other at all. They were our trophy girls and boys from our new lives. And we, the gang of neighborhood kids who hadn’t seen each other for a year, now joked quietly. We gloated at each other. Some of us glanced down at the cardboard flooring constructed from boxes that...

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