Exo-Autoethnography and the Trauma Narrative

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Conference Proceeding
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Since the late 1970s, autoethnographic research and writing has progressively demonstrated that non-fiction creative writing practice can aptly utilise this alternate-ethnographic method as part of its research and narrative, producing rigorous creative work which is palatable both by the academy and the general audience: bringing a social science closer to literature. This paper proposes the use of the methodological model I am calling exo-autoethnography as a form of qualitative research within non-fiction creative writing, and autoethnographic writing, that deals with the inter-familial trauma narrative. Exo-autoethnography is the autoethnographic exploration of a history whose events the researcher or author did not experience directly, but a history that impacted the researcher or author through familial, or other personal connections. This paper will interrogate the notion of exo-autoethnography as a distinct method informing qualitative research, for the purpose of deeply and rigorously exploring inter-familial trauma through generations. This practice is utilised in order to produce a creative non-fiction and autoethnographic narrative that is accessible as both memoir, and research text (autoethnography) to better understand sole, and cultural experience.
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