Session: From Mormon to Scholar: The Use of Collaborative Autoethnography in Social Justice Work (Society for Social Work and Research 24th Annual Conference - Reducing Racial and Economic Inequality)

192 From Mormon to Scholar: The Use of Collaborative Autoethnography in Social Justice Work

Saturday, January 18, 2020: 8:00 AM-9:30 AM
Independence BR F, ML 4 (Marriott Marquis Washington DC)
Cluster: Research Design and Measurement (RD&M)
Peter Fawson, PhD, Appalachian State University, Rachel Wright, PhD, Appalachian State University, Justin Lee, Idaho State University, M. Candace Christensen, PhD, University of Texas at San Antonio and Jeanna Jacobsen, PhD,
Collaborative autoethnography (CAE) is a qualitative research methodology and method that is collaborative, autobiographical, and ethnographic and allows for several researchers to combine their lived experiences to examine a particular shared phenomenon (Chang, Ngunijiri, & Hernandez, 2012; Hernandez, Chang, & Ngunjiri, 2017). CAE is a powerful research methodology for exploring sensitive topics because it allows for a deeply personal examination of particular phenomena. CAE places strong focus on the context of the phenomena, aligning with social work's emphasis on the importance of the person-in-environment perspective. The workshop includes five panelists (from four different universities) who are engaged in a CAE exploring their former Mormon identities, their process of leaving the Mormon faith community, and their transition into becoming social work-social justice scholars. The purpose of this workshop is to introduce attendees to CAE methodology and methods, present an exemplar of CAE, and engage in a discussion as to how CAE can be used to re-center marginalized populations in the research process. Within this workshop, participants will explore methodological strategies when designing a rigorous CAE qualitative study. Facilitators will examine the role of the researcher in a CAE, including potential subjectivity and bias when the research focus includes oneself. The workshop will explore techniques to enhance trustworthiness when undertaking a collaborative project that includes a flexible methodology and design. Workshop facilitators will discuss the use of technology to support CAE with distance collaborators. Finally, the workshop will explore ethical considerations within a CAE, such as how data is collected, ownership of data, voice represented in analysis, authorship order for publication, and informed consent in a project that does not offer participant confidentiality and potentially identifies collateral contacts of participant. The workshop will address the conference theme by examining how researchers and practitioners can use CAE to reduce racial and economic inequality through methodological research practices that empower marginalized groups to collectively engage in identity research that emphasizes underrepresented voices and analysis of cultural experience.

During the 90 minute workshop session, facilitators will: 1) present CAE methodology including details about study design, data collection, and analysis; 2) describe their work conducting a CAE on their experiences of leaving the Mormon church and the impact this had on their development of social work and social justice scholar identities; 3) discuss specific challenges and strengths of a CAE methodology; and 4) lead a discussion on how CAE can be used to examine areas such a racial and economic inequality by re-centering marginalized populations in the research process.

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