Doing autoethnography

Tessa Muncey

Abstract


The author has argued elsewhere that individual identity is sufficiently worthy of research and more than just a deviant case. The representation of an individual’s story that contains one of society’s taboos appears to require legitimation of not only the text but also the method by which it is conveyed. This is particularly important if memory and its distortions appear to be critical features of the process. Using the four approaches described in this article, namely the snapshot, metaphor, the journey and artifacts, in combination, the author seeks to demonstrate the disjunctions that characterize people’s lives. In seeking to portray a new narrative to add to the received wisdom on teenage pregnancy, it is hoped that this multifaceted approach will demonstrate that although memories are fragmentary, elusive, and sometimes “altered” by experience, the timing and sequencing of them is more powerfully presented in this juxtaposition of themes than if they were presented sequentially.

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