Make Them Giggle: Auto/Ethnography as Stand Up Comedy - A Response to Denzin's Call to Performance
Creative Approaches to Research, Vol. 1, No. 2
14 Pages Posted: 12 May 2008 Last revised: 14 Jan 2009
Date Written: May 1, 2008
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.
Keywords: Auto/ethnography, stand-up comedy, performance, ethnodrama, ethics, moral responsibility.
JEL Classification: B00, C79, C89, I20, Z00
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation