Evocative Autoethnography: Writing Lives and Telling Stories, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Evocative Autoethnography

Writing Lives and Telling Stories, 1st Edition

By Arthur Bochner, Carolyn Ellis


332 pages

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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.


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

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

About the Originator

About the Series

Writing Lives: Ethnographic Narratives

Writing Lives: Ethnographic and Autoethnographic Narratives publishes autoethnographic and narrative research projects across the disciplines of the human sciences—anthropology, communication, education, psychology, sociology, etc. The series editors seek manuscripts that blur the boundaries between humanities and social sciences. We encourage novel and evocative forms of expressing concrete lived experience, including literary, poetic, artistic, critical, visual, performative, multi-voiced, and co-constructed representations. We are interested in ethnographic and autoethnographic narratives that depict local stories; employ literary modes of scene setting, dialogue, character development, and unfolding action; and include the author's critical reflections on the research and writing process, such as research ethics, alternative modes of inquiry and representation, reflexivity, and evocative storytelling.
Prospective authors should submit a Routledge Book Proposal form, current CV, and a completed or nearly-completed manuscript to [email protected], [email protected], and [email protected]

Book proposal form: please download the 'Textbook' guidelines at https://www.routledge.com/resources/authors/how-to-publish-with-us

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
EDUCATION / Research