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Academic Autobiographies

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By: Sara Delamont | Edited by: Paul Atkinson, Sara Delamont, Alexandru Cernat, Joseph W. Sakshaug & Richard A. Williams Published: 2020 | Length: 4 | DOI: |
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This entry defines the academic autobiography, or autobiography written by an established scholar, and explains how such texts can be valuable sources for understanding research methods. The value of these documents for doing social research comes from analysing them as narratives, rather than reading them naively or literally. Two analytic strategies are discussed: simple content analysis and narrative analysis.

Defining the Academic Autobiography

The texts defined here as academic autobiographies are those that are published and focus on the research conducted by their scholarly author. They are very rarely book length but chapters or papers of 6,000–7,000 words. They are usually found in yearbooks, such as the Annual Review of Anthropology, edited collections of such autobiographies (e.g., Berger, 1990) or in journals. This entry focuses on autobiographies ...

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