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Autoethnography 

Autoethnography
Chapter:
Autoethnography
Author(s):

Rose Richards

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780190918514.003.0014
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date: 02 April 2020

In autoethnography, one researches the hidden experiences of only one person—the researcher—in order to provide a unique perspective on a group that can be understood by insiders and outsiders alike. Autoethnography is well-suited for exploring concerns about the individual’s identity or life experience. This method can be challenging, however, because it demands hard emotional work and unsettles one’s assumptions about life issues. This chapter describes different audiences and foci of autoethnography within health humanities and then explains the steps for doing autoethnography: choosing autoethnography as a process of inquiry, journaling with memory techniques, using keepsakes and other memory aids, revisiting your memories alongside nonpersonal data, assessing your own identity and positioning, literature search and review, and analyzing your ideas through writing and rewriting. This process is demonstrated through the author’s experiences of life-long chronic kidney disease, dialysis, and transplantation.

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