chapter  6
14 Pages

Straddling boundaries: disciplines, theories, methods, and continents

ByPeter Beyer

One of the most durable and consistent self-evidences of our time and society is that each of us is or should be an individual, a person with agency who forges for her-or himself a meaningful life, albeit a life embedded in society and situated in a web of relations. This narrative or myth makes it appear that each of us is unique, has a story that is intrinsically worth telling; but that we are also all products of our time and place, creatures of our physical surroundings and bodies, reflections of our upbringing, social networks, and social contexts. The personal story I tell in the following pages is therefore a situated story, one in which autobiography is not just about a particular individual, but about the society and times in which that life has been taking place and of which it is an expression. Since it cannot be about all aspects of either the personal or the contextual, it concentrates only on certain aspects, in this case ones that have to do with selected boundaries.