Make Them Giggle: Auto/Ethnography as Stand Up Comedy - A Response to Denzin's Call to Performance
University of California, San Diego (UCSD)
May 1, 2008
Creative Approaches to Research, Vol. 1, No. 2
The essay is a response to Norman Denzin's call to performance in qualitative research methods and advocates using humor when performing auto/ethnography. I contend that auto/ethnography is too mired in negative and depressing lived experiences, such as death, disease, cruelty, and health problems. If auto/ethnography is meant to be therapeutic, the best medicine is often laughter. The essay calls for using stand-up comedy methods when performing ethnographic texts. Indeed, many comedians are already engaging in auto/ethnography, they simply do not know it or give it that label. Examples of humors performance texts are interwoven with theory, method, and discussion about the the auto/ethnographer's moral responsibilities and ethics.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 14
Keywords: Auto/ethnography, stand-up comedy, performance, ethnodrama, ethics, moral responsibility.
JEL Classification: B00, C79, C89, I20, Z00working papers series
Date posted: May 12, 2008 ; Last revised: January 14, 2009
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