What is autoethnography?


Bio: Clare Holdsworth is a social geographer whose work explores the temporalities and mobilities of everyday life. Her latest book, The Social Life of Busyness, was published by Emerald in September 2021. Her research uses different methodological approaches, including secondary analysis of longitudinal data sets, biographical narrative interpretative method interviewing and creative participatory methods. She is also a textile artist and has recently started to integrate this creative practice into her research. Her session on What is Autoethnography will outline how she uses her creative practice as a conduit for the self-study of intimate and family relationships.

Autoethnography is a popular method in the social sciences and has been particularly useful approach during covid-19 restrictions. However it is not an exact method and researchers need to find their own way of writing an interpretative biography that pays attention to social and cultural contexts. This session introduces a method of making autoethnography that incorporates everyday activities (in my case making with textiles) into a self-study of intimate and material relations. This session explores the importance of experimenting with autoethnography and developing a practice through the stages of discovery; development and embedding. This introduction to making autoethnography also addresses embedding ethical practices and paying close attention to the broader context of social identities and cultural practices.