Thinking with autoethnography in collaborative research: a critical, reflexive approach to relational ethics

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“collaborative, democratic and transformative” research. Underpinning the approach is the view that the buzzwords of “collaboration” and “co-creation/co-production” may signify equitable, symmetrical power relations and, as a result, romanticize collaborative research as straightforward processes of inclusion. The approach integrates critical, reflexive analysis of the play of power in the “with” in “research with, not on, people” and the “co” in “co-creating knowledge” into the ongoing collaborative research process. As a main method for critical, reflexive analysis, the approach uses “thinking with” autoethnography. In the article, we illustrate the approach by showing how we “think with” autoethnographic texts to respond to discomfort and analyse the tensions in the co-constitution of knowledge and subjectivities in the preliminary phase of a collaborative, participatory research project on dance for people with Parkinson’s disease and their spouses.

Keywords: autoethnography, collaborative research, co-creation, co-production, participatory research; poststructuralist strategy of reflexivity; power; relational ethics

Original languageDanish
JournalQualitative Research
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Jul 2021


  • autoethnography
  • collaborative research
  • participatory research
  • relational ethics
  • ethics of care

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