Each family has its secrets, ones that shape family communication and relationships in a way generally unknown to the outsider and often the family itself. Autoethnographers, students of these relationships, confront many silences in their attempts to understand these social worlds. It is often the accidental slip, the spontaneous discussion, the offhanded comment that opens this terrain of secrets to the conscientious storyteller. Accidental Ethnography delves into this shadowy world of pain and loss in the hopes of finding productive, ethical avenues for transforming the secret lives of families into powerful narratives of hope. It merges autoethnographic method with the therapeutic power of storytelling to heal family wounds. Poulos’s lyrical text will appeal to those in ethnography, interpersonal communication, and family relationships alike.
"…Poulos constantly reminds us that what he is writing about is as much about the reader as it is about the author. He encourages us to engage in the journey he has undertaken, to write our stories as he writes his. In fact, many times I had to pause in my reading of his book to write my own accounts, something that I think would make Poulos feel as if his project is fulfilled. And in that writing, in that story-telling, often spurred by some accidental trigger I found in his book, we both begin to find some place of healing. Poulos ends his book by finding peace through writing; by allowing the moments to flow into his writing, he finds that writing gave him the home he was looking for."…--Southern Communication Journal