The ability for participants and readers to observe

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the ability for participants and readers to observe and, consequently, better testily on behalf of an event, problem, or experience (e.g., Greenspan, 1998; Rogers, 2004); writing allows a researcher, an author, to identify other problems that are cloaked in secrecy - e.g., government conspir acy (Goodall, 2006), isolation a person may feel after being diagnosed with an illness (Frank, 1995), and harmful gender norms (Crawley, 2002; Pelias, 2007). As witnesses, autoethnographers not only work with others to validate the meaning of their pain, but also allow participants and readers to feel validated and/or better able to cope with or want to change their circumstances. 280 This content downloaded from 160.36.239.64 on Thu, 18 Jan 2018 23:51:32 UTC All use subject to 4.3 Relational Ethics Researchers do not exist in isolation. We live connected to social networks that include friends and relatives, partners and children, co- workers and students, and we work in universities and research facilities. Consequently, when we conduct and write research, we implicate others in our work. For instance, if a woman studies and develops anti-smoking campaigns within a university, tobacco companies may refrain from financially contributing to the university because of her research; even though she is doing the research herself, she may speak on behalf of others - in this case, on behalf of her university. Likewise, in traditional ethnographies, the location of the communities being written about usually are identifiable to readers as are some of the participants being featured in our representations of our fieldwork (see Vidich & Bensmann, 1958). These "relational ethics" are heightened for autoethnographers (Ellis, 2007). In using personal experience, autoethnographers not only implicate themselves with their work, but also close, intimate others (Adams, 2006;
Etherington, 2007; Trahar, 2009). For instance, if a son tells a story that mentions his mother, she is implicated by what he says; it is difficult to mask his mother without altering the meaning and purpose of the story. Similar to people identi fiable in a community study such as the minister, town mayor, or other elected official, the author's mother is easily recognizable. Or if an autoethnographer writes a story about a particular neighbor's racist acts, the neighbor is impli cated by the words even though the autoethnographer may never mention the name of the neighbor (Ellis, 2009). She may try to mask the location of the community, but it does not take much work to find out where she lives (and, consequently, may not take much work to identify the neighbor about whom she speaks). Furthermore, autoethnographers often maintain and value interpersonal ties with their participants, thus making relational ethics more complicated. Participants often begin as or become friends through the research process. We do not normally regard them as impersonal "subjects" only to be mined for data.

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