The purpose of this paper is to unpack and critique different forms of solipsism and whether its impacts on autoethnographic inquiry are overly self-referential. This paper offers thoughts on Western and Eastern perspectives on the self. It is argued that autoethnography as a genre and method of inquiry confronts challenges and tensions in terms of epistemology, methodology, and ethical issues, particularly the issues of solipsism as a major challenge. It is often critiqued that autoethnographers are not able to establish a clear theoretical standpoint and the autobiographic texts lack convincing arguments and scholarly rigor. In the meantime, it is not pragmatic to undermine the intent of autoethnographic inquiry which provides a space for culturally and politically relevant experience and embodiment. To this end, this paper explores the nuances of solipsism, theoretical and definitional gaps, and ways to critically deal with this issue while pursuing autoethnographic inquiry incorporating Western and Eastern perspectives of the self.


autoethnography, critical self-reflection, moral relativism, solipsism, subjectivity

Author Bio(s)

Chet Nath Panta is a PhD scholar in educational leadership at Kathmandu University, Nepal. He is serving in the capacity of head teacher at Sisneri Secondary school, Lalitpur Nepal. He is an ELT professional as well. His areas of interest include critical pedagogy, positive psychology, autoethnography, transformative learning, and issues of school leadership. Email: chetnath@kusoed.edu.np

Bal Chandra Luitel, PhD, is a professor in the Department of STEAM Education at Kathmandu University, Nepal. He coordinates the KU components of a transformative education project called Rupantaran that aims at engaging Master’s and Doctoral students to bring forth autoethnographic narratives unfolded during their immersion in a school transformation process via transformative epistemologies armed with new analytics arising from dialectical, metaphorical, poetic and narrative for conceiving, expressing and implementing visions of inclusive and life-affirming STEAM education in Nepal. Email: bcluitel@kusoed.edu.np

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