Autoethnography, Theorizing and Transnational Movements and Moments

Wednesday, July 16, 2014: 10:45 AM
Room: 302
Oral Presentation
Jeff HEARN , Gender Studies/Centre for Feminist Social Studies, Írebro University, Írebro, Sweden
This paper is in three parts: a brief overview of the relevance of autoethnography for transnational sociological theorizing; critical interrogation of my previous work on autoethnography; re-evaluation of their implications for transnational sociological theorizing.

The second part investigates four different interpretations of my own personal, work/employment, political, and theoretical change over time. In this, I build on previous autoethnographic work to examine how theorizing develops and changes with transnational movements and moments. The first is based on different relations to nation and nations: England, Ireland, Finland (‘Autobiography, nation, postcolonialism and gender’, Irish Journal of Sociology, 2005). The second focuses on changing relations to children, family and household (‘‘The personal is work is political is theoretical: continuities and discontinuities in (pro)feminism, Women’s Studies, men and my selves’, NORA, 2008). The third concerns changing relations to transnationalisations, transdisciplinary and transinstitutional developments (’Opening up material-discursive (trans-)forms of life … politically, theoretically, institutionally, personally’, in M. Wojtaszek and E. Just (eds.) Quilting Stories: Essays in Honor of Elzbieta H. Oleksy, 2012). And the fourth highlights the relations of men, intersectionality, organizations and profeminism in research and fieldwork in the diversity and equalities field, with a focus on gender and intersectional dynamics and research processes (Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, 2014).

In the third part I discuss more general implications of these four perspectives for the analysis of intersectionality and intellectual biographies, in terms of: the politics of location; reflexivity and its limitationss; critical positionality of members of superordinate groups; the problematisation of the male “I” (‘Contradictory male/masculine/men’s “I”s: the unwriting of men, and the concept of gex’, Revista Canaria de Estudios Ingleses, 2013); and the relation of body and writing (‘Writing as intimate friends … how does writing profeminist research become methodologically challenging?’, in M. Livholts (ed.) Emergent Writing Methodologies in Feminist Studies, Routledge, 2011).