ASOC 389 University of Wisconsin Wk1 Educational Autoethnography Essay

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ASOC 389

University of Wisconsin

ASOC

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Autoethnography is a qualitative method used in the social sciences that requires the author to both reflect on and analyze personal experiences through a sociological lens. As Rennels & Purnell (2017) write: “Autoethnography… is composed of three elements: the self (auto), people or culture (ethno), and writing or describing (graphy). When combined, these elements form a bridge that connects the autobiographical and personal to the cultural, social, and political. The self, in other words, becomes a site for interpreting cultural experiences (Ellis 2004).” Our educational stories all feel unique and specific to us—yet as sociologists, we must also learn how to identify patterns in our own histories that reflect broader sociological trends and theories—which is the goal of this educational autoethnography assignment.

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ASOC 389: Sociology of Education Assignment: Educational Autoethnography DUE: By 11:59pm on Sunday, 6/28 Autoethnography is a qualitative method used in the social sciences that requires the author to both reflect on and analyze personal experiences through a sociological lens. As Rennels & Purnell (2017) write: “Autoethnography… is composed of three elements: the self (auto), people or culture (ethno), and writing or describing (graphy). When combined, these elements form a bridge that connects the autobiographical and personal to the cultural, social, and political. The self, in other words, becomes a site for interpreting cultural experiences (Ellis 2004).” Our educational stories all feel unique and specific to us—yet as sociologists, we must also learn how to identify patterns in our own histories that reflect broader sociological trends and theories—which is the goal of this educational autoethnography assignment. Guidelines • The scope of the assignment is determined by you—you can focus on a narrow range of time (tracking in middle school/junior high, the impact of COVID-19 on your spring semester, etc.), or you could focus on interactions that span your education career—for example, how has your race/class/gender impacted your interactions with authority figures in the educational system? • It can be helpful to your reader (me) to provide some context about the school that you are writing about—is it urban/suburban/or rural? diverse or homogenous?, shiny new building or dilapidated old brick?, private or public?, etc. • You don’t have to do outside research for this assignment, but draw on information/concepts from at least 1 course reading that either supports/explains/or contradicts your own experience. For example, if you are writing about your experience in college, you could make a connection between the coursework that you have chosen, and whether that aligns with education as a public good or private good. If you are reflecting on your K-12 experience, you could draw on Hallinan’s discussion of tracking or Turner’s discussion of mobility, etc. • This assignment should be 2-3 pages double-spaced and should be submitted online, in the assignments folder. The tone can be informal (since it is a personal reflection), but please be sure to proofread your paper and fix any typos/grammatical errors before submitting it.
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Educational Autoethnography

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Educational Autoethnography
My educational autoethnography focuses of my experience in the K-12 education system,
particularly middle and high school years. I went to a public sub-urban high school. Attending a
public high school was largely as a result of necessity rather than choice. This is because there
were many private schools within and outside the district that had better building and facilities.
However, hailing from a working class family of five, attending a public high school was the
only assurance that I would attain a high school diploma and increase my chances of proceeding
college. The high school population was multi-racial, with most attendees coming from low and
middle-income families. I feel that high school was the most instrumental institution that I have
attended so far. It is in high school that most of the life skills that I depend on for my day to day
life, including in college, were imparted. It is in high school where the tenets of good citizenship
were inculcated. While I looked forward to attending college, I knew and felt that I was ready for
life by the time I finished high school.
I view my high school experience f...


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