Searching for an Autoethnographic Ethic (Paperback) book cover

Searching for an Autoethnographic Ethic

By Stephen Andrew

© 2017 – Routledge

158 pages

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Paperback: 9781629584980
pub: 2017-01-20
Hardback: 9781629584973
pub: 2017-01-25
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pub: 2017-01-12
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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



About the Author


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.

About the Series

Writing Lives: Ethnographic Narratives

Writing Lives: Ethnographic Narratives publishes narrative representations of qualitative research projects. The series editors seek manuscripts that blur the boundaries between humanitites and social sciences. We encourage novel and evocative forms of expressing concrete lived experience, including autoethnographic, literary, poetic, artistic, visual, performative, critical, multi-voiced, conversational, and co-constructed representations. We are interested in ethnographic 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. Proposals and manuscripts should be directed to


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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PSYCHOLOGY / Research & Methodology