9th Conference European Sociological Association

RN16 Sociology of Health and Illness

2009-09-05 15:30:00 2009-09-05 17:00:00 Saturday, 5 September 15:30 - 17:00 Embodiment, Emotions and Health II Building I, 1E2

Doing autoethnography in health research: finding the reflexive "I"

The aim of this paper is to explore the usefulness of autoethnography for health researchers. The paper is divided into 3 parts: 1) I look specifically at doing autoethnography in the field of health research and how autoethnography needs to be evaluated through the lens of science and art. Autoethnography is a way of telling stories about health and illness events with people in time, their social shaping, evolutions, etc. and how these events reflect cultural meanings. 2.) I ask two questions, "How do health researchers "collect" autoethnographic "data" and what do they do with "it"? Here I demonstrate the evidential value of autoethnographic material for both the autoethnographer and reader of "the research text". I will also draw on my experience of constructing my "research text" when I was suffering from an acute illness. 3.) I look at the way autoethnography contributes to an overall analysis of particular kinds of problems related to the issue of reflexivity and make some conclusions.