8 Pages

Introduction: Reflecting on Meta-Autoethnography

This chapter focuses on story of Carolyn Ellis. She has authored numerous personal stories that demonstrate the emotional power and academic value of auto ethnographic research. In writing drafts of her story, Carolyn found a way to resolve her cultural dilemma. She struggles with the cultural changes and changes in self that have accompanied her social, generational, and geographic mobility. Carolyn refers to "There Are Survivors" as a story of sudden death. "There Are Survivors" is a work of self-narration, sometimes referred to as autoethnography, in which Carolyn Ellis uses her personal experience to display multiple levels of consciousness and emotionality. As an academic monograph, Carolyn Ellis's text raises the question of what place narrative should occupy in social science inquiry. Using novelists such as Dickens and Kundera as his model, Richard Rorty advocates a social science that pays attention to the concrete details of human suffering.