Tensions in managing the online network development of autoethnographers
A four-way dialogue
Keywords:autoethnography, autoethnography groups, online autoethnography networking, autoethnogapher mentoring, autoethnographer development
Although literature exists on the methodological development of autoethnographers in the classroom context, little has been written about achieving such development in online networks of dispersed individuals, and the social psychological difficulties between senior members of such networks that might ensue. This conversational autoethnography developed after Alec Grant, the first author, angrily withdrew by email from the South Coast Autoethnography Network (SCAN). Since its inception in 2013, the hub, or centre of operating activity of SCAN has historically been mostly shared between a small number of academics working in, or associated with, Sussex University and the University of Brighton in the south coast of England. With around 65 participants, SCAN aims to facilitate the development of autoethnographers, with many of its members inexperienced in the approach to differing degrees. In their conversational exchange, the authors explore, respond to, and try to make sense of and resolve, the tensions that developed in the group before and after Alec’s withdrawal from it. The authors believe that this article captures many of the interpersonal difficulties that might inevitably arise between senior members, in autoethnographic networks internationally. They therefore hope that it will serve as a useful resource for individual readers and network groups.
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