1st Edition

Searching for an Autoethnographic Ethic

ISBN 9781629584980
Published January 20, 2017 by Routledge
176 Pages

USD $49.95

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Book Description

This volume is a call for integrity in autoethnographic research. Stephen Andrew weaves together philosophy, critical theory, and extended self-reflections to demonstrate how and why qualitative researchers should assess the ethical quality of their work. He also offers practical tools designed to limit the likelihood of self-indulgence and solipsism in first-person writing. Equally instructive and exemplary, his work:

    • Is written in a relatable style that draws readers in and encourages them to think critically about the implications and effects of their writing.
    • Examines the history of qualitative and autoethnographic research.
    • Provides implementable strategies for textualizing lived experiences and relationships with others.


Table of Contents


A Cartographic Prelude

Preface—Intentionality vs. Accidentalism


Chapter 1: Introduction(s) and the Search for an Autoethnographic Ethic

An Autoethnographic Introduction

Autoethnography Introduced Through the Literature

Autoethnographic Ethics

Relational Ethics

Ethical Guidelines

Contextuality and Reflexivity in Ethics

The Ethics of Revelation and Healing

Dis-em-bodied Ethics

An Ethical Direction

Chapter 2: Engaging the Literature

Three Key Ideas of Autoethnography

Aspect 1: The Ethics of Story Creation

Aspect 2: The Ethics of Story Telling

Aspect 3: Strengths and Limitations of the Researcher and the Method

A Possible Way Forward

Intuitionism as a Philosophical Basis for Ethical Autoethnography

Chapter 3: The Grids: Three Worked Examples of Applying Ethical Grids to Autoethnographic Text

An Introduction to the Grids

Ethical Eyes

Exposure Grid

Ideas and Duties Grid

Chapter 4: Worked Example 1: "An Epistemology of Love"

Autoethnographic Essay: "An Epistemology of Love"

Worked Example 1—"An Epistemology of Love"

Ethical Eyes

Exposure Grid

Ideas and Duties Grid

Discussion of Grids

Chapter 5: Worked Example 2: "Fire Reflections"

Autoethnographic Essay: "Fire Reflections"

Worked Example 2—"Fire Reflections"

Ethical Eyes

Exposure Grid

Ideas and Duties Grid

Discussion of Grids

Chapter 6: Worked Example 3: "What Happened?"

Autoethnographic Essay: "What Happened?"

Worked Example 3—"What Happened?"

Ethical Eyes

Exposure Grid

Ideas and Duties Grid

Discussion of Grids

Chapter 7: Making Sense in Retrospect

Implications for Psychotherapists, Teachers, Memoirists, and Other Writers

An Acceptable Approximate



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Stephen Andrew has taught counselling and psychology at La Trobe, Swinburne and Monash universities and at the Melbourne Institute for Creative Arts Therapy and Phoenix Institute. He is currently a senior lecturer at the Cairnmillar Institute in Melbourne and sees individuals, couples and supervisees in his private practice.


"The book concludes with an invitation for others to join the journey, suggesting the utility of this ethical approach outside autoethnography—for teachers, journalists, biographers and memoirists. Andrew’s approach to ethics could benefit anyone conducting social science research and has practical applications for novice and seasoned researchers. As a novice qualitative researcher, I appreciate a text devoted to the “how to” of autoethnographic ethics…although this book is much more than that, as most pursuits usually are."

--Janie Copple is a first-year doctoral student in the Qualitative Research and Evaluation Methodologies program at the University of Georgia.


"Searching for an Autoethnographic Ethic is accessible for novice researchers and provides useful, practical advice and techniques to better understand the ethical issues that confront us all."

--ROSE RICHARDS, Stellenbosch University, South Africa


"Stephen Andrew weaves vulnerably written, self-narrative prose and poetry into a guided framework for novice and seasoned autoethnographers on ways to methodically approach ethics. This book chronicles a series of personal, and at times unsettling experiences that have shaped his autobiographical journey and his pursuit towards autoethnographic ethics, realizing along the way that these were always, in parts, pieces of the same puzzle."

--Janie Copple, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia, USA