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Boise State students spent the semester studying a topic they thought they knew: themselves.

The COMM 597 Narrative Theory course helps students examine complex concepts related to their personal lives and how society labels issues. Students will present their final projects to the public in a series of autoethnographies called
Defining Ourselves: A Narrative Look at Societal Labeling
Wednesday, December 11th
4:30 p.m.
Student Union Building: Farnsworth Room

Autoethnography is a form of qualitative research that explores anecdotal and personal experiences and their connections to wider cultural, political, and social meanings and understandings. Dr. Christina Ivey (pronouns: they/them/theirs) views it as the most accessible type of research. ”Essentially, it does the social scientific work of ethnography,” says Ivey, “but a lot of the time the stories include the self.”

The students’ final projects connect anecdotal stories of their personal experiences with topics such as body image and race with research in the form of a personal narrative.

“Vulnerability is a key component of autoethnography. Each person is being brave and vulnerable for talking about themselves. Even the silly stuff could potentially jeopardize their self-image,” Ivey said.

All students and faculty are invited and encouraged to attend the project presentations. Ivey warns some topics might be sensitive to some audiences. A speech at the beginning of presentations will discuss the students’ work and disclose trigger warnings.