Here Come the Naval Gazers - Definitions and Defenses for Auto/Ethnography

27 Pages Posted: 3 Mar 2008

See all articles by Michael Hemmingson

Michael Hemmingson

University of California, San Diego (UCSD)

Date Written: 2/27/08


I present several definitions of auto/ethnography by the leading academics that have championed and co-created the method; I also discuss critical positions against it. I offer both my own response and the defenses of others, and then reveal modest proposals for new definitions, theories, and methods for auto/ethnography. I voice a call to action for what is now the Eighth Moment in qualitative inquiry with a 15-point plan (or manifesto) that urges a rejection of all "experts" and suggests that a/e, as a method of the subaltern, should rebel against the old order, "the colonists" of social science. There are many new approaches to the method in the Eighth Moment, and each individual auto/ethnographer must find (or create) his or her method that best suits each lived experience, regardless of what the critics and "methodologists" say is the right or wrong way.

Keywords: auto/ethnography, Carolyn Ellis, Norman Denzin, Eighth Moment, subaltern voice, qualitative inquiry.

JEL Classification: Z00

Suggested Citation

Hemmingson, Michael, Here Come the Naval Gazers - Definitions and Defenses for Auto/Ethnography (2/27/08). Available at SSRN: or

Michael Hemmingson (Contact Author)

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) ( email )

9500 Gilman Drive
PMB 241
La Jolla, CA 92093-5010
United States


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