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Wolff-Michael Roth (2009)

Auto/Ethnography and the Question of Ethics

Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 10(1).

Auto/ethnography has emerged as an important method in the social sciences for contributing to the project of understanding human actions and concerns. Although the name of the method includes "ethnography," auto/ethnography often is concerned exclusively with an abstract (i.e., undeveloped) and abstracting understanding, and therefore the writing, of the Self rather than the writing of the "ethno." Auto/ethnography, such conceived, is a form of therapy, in the best case, and a form of narcissism and autoerotic relation, in the worst case. But because the Self exists in relation to the world, becomes in and through participation in everyday events, and because the human relation is inherently ethical, there are inherent ethical questions where the Other may come to be harmed as much as the Self.

Richard's PhD

"The library is not a shrine for the worship of books. It is not a temple where literary incense must be burned or where one's devotion to the bound book is expressed in ritual. A library, to modify the famous metaphor of Socrates, should be the delivery room for the birth of ideas - a place where history comes to life." — Norman Cousins, 1954