This roundtable discussion will provide a detailed overview of autoethnography as a critical methodology to combat racial and economic inequity. The presenters will orient the audience to autoethnography as both a process and product that involves analyzing biographies, affects, relationships, thoughts, and wounds to theorize about society (self within structure). We will discuss core methodological principles and highlight the method's ability to facilitate reflexivity, accountability, and engender social justice.
The presenters will also share an example of a multi-voiced autoethnographic project that served as a creative and liberatory outlet to explore hauntings, theory and self, and the role we play in social work research and practice. We will discuss how this project linked activism with research, provided opportunity for a collective narrative that weaved together diverse experiences and perspectives, explored divergence and commonality in voice, and challenged the tendency of hegemonic positivism to extract affect from the praxis of science.
Within the roundtable, participants will get first hand, experiential exposure to the method through guided activities. This will lead to both activities that embody the autoethnographic process as well as provide space for a shared voice. These experiences will demonstrate authoethnography's utility as a method for racial and economic justice. The presenters hope to illustrate the risk of disassociating the self (as researcher) from the experience of research and study. Critically analyzing the self mitigates the potential violent and oppressive nature of othering and distancing, and disrupts the potential harm inherent to traditional research approaches.