Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date



Guilford Press


In this chapter, we explore autoethnography as a social constructionist project. We want to resist the tendency to dichotomize and instead explore how autoethnography makes connections between seemingly polar opposites. Though we see it as a sign of progress that authors desire to tease out differences in autoethnographic projects, we argue that concentrating on dichotomies is counterproductive, given that autoethnography by definition operates as a bridge, connecting autobiography and ethnography in order to study the intersection of self and others, self and culture.

After further detailing in this chapter the limits of dichotomous thinking, we sketch the meanings and goals of autoethnography. We then discuss social constructionist concepts pertinent to autoethnography by deconstructing various methodological dichotomies.

Chapter of

Handbook of Constructionist Research


James A. Holstein
Jaber F. Gubrium


Copyright © 2008 Guilford Press. Reprinted with permission of The Guilford Press.



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