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

See all articles by Michael Hemmingson

Michael Hemmingson

University of California, San Diego (UCSD)

Date Written: May 1, 2008

Abstract

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

Hemmingson, Michael, Make Them Giggle: Auto/Ethnography as Stand Up Comedy - A Response to Denzin's Call to Performance (May 1, 2008). Creative Approaches to Research, Vol. 1, No. 2. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1131042 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1131042

Michael Hemmingson (Contact Author)

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

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

HOME PAGE: http://www.mhemmingson.wordpress.com

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