Download Accidental Ethnography: An Inquiry into Family Secrecy by Christopher N. Poulos PDF

By Christopher N. Poulos

Every one family members has its secrets and techniques, ones that form family members verbal exchange and relationships in a manner normally unknown to the outsider and infrequently the relations itself. Autoethnographers, scholars of those relationships, confront many silences of their makes an attempt to appreciate those social worlds. it is usually the unintentional slip, the spontaneous dialogue, the offhanded remark that opens this terrain of secrets and techniques to the conscientious storyteller. unintended Ethnography delves into this shadowy global of ache and loss within the hopes of discovering efficient, moral avenues for remodeling the key lives of households into strong narratives of wish. It merges autoethnographic approach with the healing energy of storytelling to heal relatives wounds. Poulos’s lyrical textual content will entice these in ethnography, interpersonal conversation, and kinfolk relationships alike.

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The lawn, if you could still call it that, was just a patch of bare dirt with a few weeds here and there poking through the hardened earth. The house looked disheveled and uncared for, and utterly abandoned. The front door hung at an angle, half off its hinges. The roof was peeling, with big patches of missing shingles. Every single window was shattered, except for one. “Let’s go in,” whispered Eddie. And he started walking slowly, as if in a dream or a trance, toward the front steps. We hesitated.

This tendency to wander could be a problem in school, and in structured games like baseball, where the paths are straight and well laid. That’s why I preferred the time after school and loved the made-up street and backyard versions of my favorite games, where you had only a few players and had to make new rules to compensate. Out there on the field, or in the yard or in the street, so long as I let my body pay some bit of attention to the game, I was free to strike off into the forests of my imagination.

Maybe . . just maybe . . a secret shouldn’t be a secret any more? Clearly, despite the family rules that guard against stigma, and the scholarly arguments that “facework” can sometimes be positively accomplished via deception or silence or secrecy, a case can be made for embracing the opportunity to transform the secret lives of families into stories that open up new possibilities. That’s exactly what this book is about. In the next chapter, I outline the pathway I will take toward achieving that goal.

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