This article problematizes and discusses the “auto”ethnographical approach, which has recently become pervasive in research-oriented writings, to “tell the story of self and subject” in order to analyze wider cultural and social conditions. This method can be found in the remarkable array of a variety of disciplines in which scholars have explicitly and implicitly highlighted identity-related issues. One problem with this approach is its failure to recognize the ideological generalization in identifying the researcher’s position, with the risk of eventually becoming a neutral “truth through the researcher’s reality.” This paper focuses on the crisis between history and memory in contextualizing a researcher’s collective identity, and the crisis between insiderness and outsiderness in research. As a researcher and writer, I apply my examples to the conceptual framework built in this study on the identity crisis of my life, struggles, and conflicts. Considering researchers’ struggles and conflicts in determining self with regard to the identity established in research, my impetus for writing this paper is to provide a roadmap that critically examines the contexts that should be considered when a researcher positions self in the study and writing.


Autoethnography, Qualitative Research, Researcher Identity, Identity Crisis

Author Bio(s)

Author Note

Ji Young Shim has strong and multiple perspectives and experiences to communicate in multicultural environment. Her career has been extensive: with respect to current status as Senior Curator of the OpenGallery; with Ph.D. in Art Education program (with minor in Social Thought) at the Pennsylvania State University; with M.A. degree in Arts Administration program at Teachers College, Columbia University in NYC; with M.F.A. and B.F.A. degrees in Western Painting and Print-Making department; with B.A. degree in Art History at Ewha Womans University in South Korea; her professional experience as an international artist as well as art educator, and her working experiences at art organizations as a project manager, chief curator, and administrative manager in New York City and South Korea, she has offered art world broader perspectives and knowledge. Correspondence regarding this article can be addressed directly to: shim8383@gmail.com.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.





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