Autoethnography as ‘valid’ methodology? A study of disrupted identity narratives

Jacquelyn Allen-Collinson, J Hockey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Citations (SciVal)


Despite its burgeoning popularity in recent years, autoethnography is still considered a contentious, even a ‘self-indulgent’ genre, at least within some quarters of the social sciences, where it is viewed as more akin to ‘navel-gazing’ autobiography than to rigorous social scientific research. This article considers some of the advantages and challenges of working with a variation of the genre – a collaborative autoethnography. Our research project examined from a sociological perspective disrupted athletic identities occasioned by long-term sporting injuries. Whilst not a narrative analysis per se, we examine here some of the narratives (spoken and written) co-produced during the process of injury and rehabilitation. Such narrative activity facilitated sense-making at the phenomenological, interactional and analytic levels, and helped counteract the threat of identity disruption caused by long-term, serious injury. The article considers the potential of the autoethnograhic approach for providing unique insights into lived-body experiences, and concludes with a discussion of just some of the ethical issues arising from this methodological approach.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)209-218
Number of pages10
JournalThe International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2008


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