Evocative Autoethnography : Writing Lives and Telling Stories book cover
1st Edition

Evocative Autoethnography
Writing Lives and Telling Stories

ISBN 9781629582153
Published March 21, 2016 by Routledge
332 Pages

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Book Description

This comprehensive text is the first to introduce evocative autoethnography as a methodology and a way of life in the human sciences. Using numerous examples from their work and others, world-renowned scholars Arthur Bochner and Carolyn Ellis, originators of the method, emphasize how to connect intellectually and emotionally to the lives of readers throughout the challenging process of representing lived experiences. Written as the story of a fictional workshop, based on many similar sessions led by the authors, it incorporates group discussions, common questions, and workshop handouts. The book:

  • describes the history, development, and purposes of evocative storytelling;
  • provides detailed instruction on becoming a story-writer and living a writing life;
  • examines fundamental ethical issues, dilemmas, and responsibilities;
    illustrates ways ethnography intersects with autoethnography;
  • calls attention to how truth and memory figure into the works and lives of evocative autoethnographers.

Table of Contents


Part One: Origins and History
1. Coming to Autoethnography
2. The Rise of Autoethnography

Part Two: Writing and Telling Evocative Stories
3. Storytelling and Story Writing
4. Thinking with ‘Maternal Connections’

Part Three: Ethical Dilemmas and Ethnographic Choices
5. Doing Evocative Autoethnography Ethically
6. The ‘Ethno’ in Evocative Autoethnography

Part Four: Blending Evocative Genres
7. Thinking with ‘Bird On The Wire’
8. Memory and Truth


About the Authors

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Arthur P. Bochner


I have been engaged, as a teacher and researcher, with autoethnography for over a decade.
Reading this book has me wish that I had encountered it back at the start; perhaps I could have
bypassed much of the confusion I experienced about issues such as paradigm wars, research
genres, the place of the “I” in research inquiry and such like.
David Mc Cormack, Maynooth University, British Journal of Guidance & Counselling