Our Journey to Becoming Ethnographers: An Exploration of Rhetorical Structures as Lived Experience

Heather Blair, Jacqueline Filipek, Meridith Lovell, Marlene McKay, Rhonda Nixon, Miao Sun


This article, originally written as a performative piece, presents the experiences and perceptions of five graduate students and one professor as they reflect on and write about becoming ethnographers throughout a graduate-level research course. Data sources include reflective journals, synthesis papers, and academic literature. Following the completion of the course, the group came together and applied grounded theory to analyze the data and write collectively about their experiences, feelings, and insights on ethnographic work. They present the data as a readers theatre that incorporates portions of a children’s book with the group’s reflections. Like authors of other academic literature the group discusses the challenges and benefits of ethnographic research. Their collaborative writing reflects their polyvocality as they negotiated their journeys toward becoming ethnographers.

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