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Writing Against, Alongside and Beyond Memory

Lifewriting as Reflexive, Poststructuralist Feminist Research Practice

Marilyn Metta

Marilyn Metta is the cowinner of the International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry 2011 Qualitative Book Award.
Memory, embedded in our scripts of the past, inscribed in our bodies and reflected in the collective memory of every family, group and community, occupies one of the most controversial and contested sites over what constitutes legitimate knowledge-making.
Using a reflexive feminist research methodology, the author is involved with memory-work in creating three life narratives written in different narrative styles: her mother’s and father’s biographies and her own autobiography/autoethnography.
By exploring the intersections of race, gender, ethnicity and culture in the social and cultural constructions of identities in lifewriting, this book maps the underlying politics of storytelling and storymaking, and investigates the political, social, pedagogical and therapeutic implications of writing personal life narratives for feminist scholarship, research and practice.
As a Chinese-Australian woman engaging in reflexive, creative and imaginative lifewriting, the author hopes to create new spaces and add new voices to the small but emerging Asian Australian scholarly literature.

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CHAPTER VConclusion: Bringing Together

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CHAPTER V Conclusion: Bringing Together Overview In the concluding chapter, I will provide an overview of the research, its objectives, methodologies, and processes, followed by a discussion of the limitations of reflexive lifewriting research, and the implica- tions of reflexive feminist lifewriting research on feminist scholar- ship, research and practice. In this book, I have set out to explore the processes of writing personal life narratives as a way of doing poststructuralist reflexive feminist research. By representing the different generic and narratives styles of lifewriting in the my mother’s written oral biography, my father’s imaginative biography, and my autobiography/autoethno- graphy, I have aimed to explore the different creative, reflexive and imaginative writing processes possible in lifewriting as well as the different methodological strategies that inform and shape the writing and research process. I have discussed the six themes reflect the dif- ferent pathways, processes, and praxis from which this research pro- ject emerged: Ways of Doing Research (I), Ways of Knowing, Ways of Writ- ing, Ways of Speaking, Ways of Being, and Ways of Doing Research (II). These methodological discussions form the core of the reflexive methodological frameworks and strategies that have underpinned this research project. This is also an attempt to make transparent the ways in this body of scholarly knowledge has emerged. As a contemporary reflexive feminist scholarly text, this is also a conscious attempt to further break down the barriers between the personal and the politi- cal, the personal and the scholarly, and the private and the...

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