Qualitative Research Methodologies: Traditions, Designs, and Pedagogies Series
Transformative Autoethnography for Practitioners
Change Processes and Practices for Individuals and Groups
Published: March 2022
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Published: March 2022

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Published: March 2022
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Language: English

A 2023 SPE Outstanding Book Award Winner

Can transformation be the primary goal of autoethnographic research? In this book, the authors present a compelling case that this is indeed possible. Since autoethnography first appeared as a nascent approach to social inquiry, much has been written about it as a useful addition to the field of qualitative research methods. Over the years, its usage has been extended across various disciplines including the humanities, human services, social sciences, leadership studies, engineering, education, counseling, and even medical education. Notably, the primary function of autoethnography to advance our understanding around sociocultural phenomena has been increasingly paired with a parallel function of the many ways in which this research method can also contribute to practice. However, though its contribution to scholarship is well documented, less has been written about its practical usage as the focal point of inquiry. Yet there is growing evidence that one of the emerging strengths of autoethnography is its transformative capabilities. In Transformative Autoethnography for Practitioners, Hernandez, Chang and Bilgen turn the spotlight on autoethnography as a tool for practitioners where the primary goal is to solve real world problems by facilitating transformational change at the individual, group and/or organizational levels. They draw on existing scholarship as well as their collective work and expertise to provide a Transformative Autoethnographic Model (TAM) for use by practitioners who are intent on effecting such changes in their respective contexts.

The book contains seven chapters. Chapters One through Three provide the theoretical grounding for a transformative autoethnography model. Chapter One begins with a broad overview of autoethnographic research and the unique characteristics of this method that makes it especially suited for effecting transformational learning. In chapters Two and Three, the authors provide a quick review of the literature relevant to individual autoethnography and collaborative autoethnography respectively. Each chapter discussion is centered around explicating the transformative elements of the method as well as how it is able to effect change at the individual, group, and organizational level. Chapters Four through Six focus on the praxis of transformative autoethnography. In Chapter Four, the transformative autoethnography model (TAM) is presented in detail and templates are provided for its application. Chapters Five and Six show the application of the TAM in a variety of settings. The book ends with a final chapter discussion on the continuing evolution of autoethnographic explorations, as well as future applications for the TAM model in a fast changing digital landscape.

Perfect for courses such as: Research Methods in the Social Sciences | Qualitative Research Methods | Narrative Research | Advanced Qualitative Research Methods | Coaching and Consulting | Leading Change

Table of Contents:

List of Figures and Tables 



1. Transformative Autoethnography 

2. Individual Autoethnography (IAE ) for Transformation 

3. Collaborative Autoethnography (CAE) for Transformation 

4. Transformative Autoethnography Model 

5. TAM Applications for Individual Autoethnography 

6. TAM Applications for Collaborative Autoethnography 

7. TAM and Future Directions 

About the Authors 


Reviews & Endorsements:

“There is no other guide to transformative autoethnography research that a) focuses on transformation as the intended goal of the research, b) has an explicit aim to create change in practice, and c) provides a useful model to follow. . . . As someone new to the method of autoethnography, the authors have convinced me of the power of transformative autoethnography to create change.”

--Review excerpt from Vanessa Stafford, Director of Academic Learning, Kaplan Business School in Journal of Applied Learning & Teaching, Vol. 5 No. 2 (2022)

“What a remarkable and timely contribution to autoethnographic research! In this thoroughly researched book, the authors clear the path both theoretically and methodologically for their model of transformation as a meaningful and worthy goal of autoethnography for scholars and practitioners alike. They not only talk the talk; they walk the walk in explaining and demonstrating how transformation can be a vital part of the entire research process. This book itself is transformative in the way it lays out possibilities and processes for doing autoethnography as a change agent for ourselves as researchers, for engaging and improving the life of readers and participants in our studies, and for assisting organizations and communities to solve real-life problems. What a gift! Especially to practitioners, but also to all of us who value autoethnography for the good it can add to our world.”

Carolyn S. Ellis, PhD, Distinguished Professor Emerita of Communication and Sociology, University of South Florida, USA Recipient of Numerous Publication and Teaching Awards on Autoethnography

“Hernandez, Chang, and Bilgen—experts and leaders in collaborative autoethnography—offer a thoughtful, thorough, and easy-to-follow text that foregrounds the practical, interdisciplinary, and transformative potentials of/for doing autoethnography. Throughout, they provide astute descriptions of the autoethnographic research and writing processes, present fresh insights about working with self and others, and show how and why autoethnography is indeed “life-changing work” (p. xvii). A conversational and comprehensive book that will be of great interest to new and established autoethnographers alike.”

Tony E. Adams, PhD, Caterpillar Professor and Chair of the Department of Communication, Bradley University, USA Founding Co-editor of The Journal of Autoethnography

“In this engaging volume, Kathy-Ann Hernandez, Heewon Chang, and Wendy Bilgen share the transformational potential of autoethnography. This is an excellent resource for practitioners seeking to learn more about autoethnography and how to implement it to improve understanding of self, others, and society. The thoughtful process of study and change encouraged by the authors can be greatly life-enhancing. The personal stories and the models shared make the material highly accessible, an important dimension of the transformative power of the book.”

Sherry Marx, PhD, Professor, School of Teacher Education and Leadership, Utah State University, USA Editor in Chief of the International Journal of Multicultural Education, Co-Author of Our International Education: Living, Teaching, and Parenting Abroad

“Engaging in autoethnography as writer, collaborator, and reader constitutes a transformative act of love, when love is understood – notably after bell hooks – as the willing act of nurturing compassionate, holistic, liberating and mutually respectful growth in self and others. Written by three well-respected, trailblazing experts of autoethnography, this important book is a gift to those willing to immerse themselves in the practical and life-changing power of the approach. At individual, group, organizational, institutional, and cultural levels, this has never been more necessary!”

Alec Grant, PhD, Unaffiliated Independent Scholar, UK, Recipient of the 2020 International Conference of Autoethnography Lifetime Contribution Award

Transformative Autoethnography for Practitioners: Change Processes and Practices for Individuals and Groups is a must-read for autoethnographic researchers. The captivating combination of a wealth of diverse insider experiences, passion and deep grasp of the challenges, opportunities and the subject literature ensures a perfect fit for the audience. The clear, inviting and confident writing style will inspire practitioners and novice researchers to work through the examples and templates as individuals or in collaboration with others. To embrace the enriching experience of transformative autoethnography (consequential or purposefully pursued) fully informed of the need to always strive for scientific rigor. I am looking forward to a new generation of transformative autoethnographic researchers and practitioners.”

Ina Fourie, DLitt et Phil, Full professor, Head: Department of Information Science and Chair: School of Information Technology University of Pretoria, South Africa

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