Chapter 2. Critical Autoethnography and Possibilities for Reframing Teaching Practices
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This project is the narrative representation of my teaching journey living in a transitional space (Ellsworth, 2005). It is a story of wandering, thinking, and writing within my own spaces of unrest—spaces that moved me intellectually, spiritually, emotionally, and physically. I called upon a reconfigured poststructural autoethnography to reflect theories of subjectivity and transitional space, including ruptures and paradoxes, along with possibilities for transformative answers to new questions and the construction of rethought pedagogical behaviors (Phillips, Harris, Larson, & Higgins, 2009). While poststructural theorists challenge assumptive humanist notions of the subject as capable of knowing and articulating the self, they simultaneously offer a justification for situating the self into the written text. I used multivocal poststructural autoethnography (Mizzi, 2010) to assist me as I reflected ← 17 | 18 →upon multiple (and changing) subjectivities, voices, shifting identities, and the construction of transitional spaces.
Shaken by criticism from poststructuralist, postmodernist, and feminist writers, some social scientists turned to personal narrative as a method of inquiry in order to frame an alternative relationship between researcher and subject. This postmodern moment was defined by a yearning for storytelling, a desire to compose ethnographies in new ways, and an urge to find alternative ways to write, including locating one’s self within the text. As a result of this movement toward personal narratives, autoethnographic writing emerged, offering with it a way to organize and frame a research study that positions the researcher as the subject (Denzin & Lincoln, 2003). In recent years and as...
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