Bourdieu and Critical Autoethnography: Implications for Research, Writing, and Teaching

Deborah Reed-Danahay


This article argues that by combining critical ethnographic and autoethnographic perspectives we can move beyond the insider/outsider dualism, better understand the ways in which stories of personal experience are “strategic,” and interrogate the broader contexts and processes of social inequality that shape life trajectories. The potential contributions to critical autoethnography of the reflexive approach of “self-analysis” advocated by Pierre Bourdieu are discussed. The author draws upon her uses of critical autoethnography in research (in France and the United States) and in teaching about immigration. 


ethnography; Pierre Bourdieu; insider/outsider; immigration; critical autoethnography

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