Writing and research


Personal views
Saarnivaara, Marjatta; Vainikkala, Erkki; van Delft, Marjon
951-39-1864-5; 1457-6899
University of Jyväskylä. Department of Art and Culture Studies / The Research Centre for Contemporary Culture / Taiteiden ja kulttuurin tutkimuksen laitos / Nykykulttuurin tutkimuskeskus
Publications of the Research Centre for Contemporary Culture / Nykykulttuurin tutkimuskeskuksen julkaisuja (80)

The aim of this book is to look at the connections, both enabling and problematic, between writing, lived experience, and institutional guidelines and constraints. Thirteen researchers move on these interfaces in their contributions. There is also an introduction to life writing and its use in research by Arthur P. Bochner and Carolyn Ellis, well-known exponents of autoethnography, and an epilogue by the editors where some key issues of the writings are considered.

The contributions lead up to questions of writing in research, but they have a larger scope as they deal with other kinds of writing as well. How do you write about different kinds of experience, and what kind of experience is writing itself? What are the assumptions behind writing, and how have they changed at different stages of people's lives and careers? In all these cases, school and university have been crucial institutional backgrounds with their special discourses.

Writing as part of life histories and their changing institutional contexts has often been a twisted experience - sometimes easy, sometimes difficult. Much has depended on individuals in positions of authority. It is an intriguing task for the reader of this book to work out the tensions and modulations between the guiding forms of discourse, their individual mediations, and the performative acts of writing.

This is not a handbook with instructions to follow. Instead, it probes into possibilities of bringing more personal kinds of writing to bear on scholarly discourse. In the search for new possibilities and criteria, there are no easy answers.

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