Exercising power in autoethnographic vignettes to constitute critical knowledge
This article shows how autoethnographic vignettes can be used as a reflexive tool to problematize the power relations in which organizational ethnographers participate when doing and representing their fieldwork. Foucault’s analysis of the ethical self-formation process provides the impetus to explore the embodied experiences of my autoethnographic study of a cooperative retail outlet in New York. In questioning how power and knowledge reflexively generated my actions and interpretations, I frame this autoethnography as a means of critically reflecting on my own practice as a researcher. By writing about our own embodied interactions with others through discourses that constitute our experiences, we begin to understand how power is exercised in practice. I conclude by discussing the practical benefits for researchers of writing autoethnographic vignettes and, in particular, for doctoral students seeking to become qualitative researchers in the field. © The Author(s) 2022.
Autoethnography; care of the self; disciplinary power; embodiment; identity work; methodology; reflexivity; vignettes