Early online

  • Conflicts and tensions in dual roles (2022-07-07)
    Michael Nycyk School of Media, Creative Arts and Social Inquiry Curtin University of Technology

    Those living with mental illness have benefitted from non-clinical recovery organisations, such as the Clubhouse Model of Psychosocial Rehabilitation. Research conducted for a Clubhouse brings many benefits to it. However, the model is governed by cultural practices. These practices create beliefs that influence the conduct of the research despite the benefits it can bring. This autoethnographic account is about my involvement as a member and researcher within a Clubhouse. How cultural practices and beliefs influenced the research is detailed from observation notes and memory work. The conflicts and tensions I experienced were shaped by such cultural factors. This account concludes with reflections on how I felt about the events. It advises other ethnographers to research the mental illness field before attempting a project in it.

  • Understanding the performativity of COVID-19 (2022-09-09)
    Ruichen Zhang University of Cambridge

    Since the COVID-19 outbreak in January 2020, the pandemic has been changing rapidly with shifting social norms. This autoethnography of my lockdown experiences in China and the UK in 2020 illustrates how I adjusted my daily acts to the shifting social norms in different situations and how these adjustments changed me as a self-regulated subject and reshaped my understanding of COVID-19. Drawing on Butler’s theory of performativity, I analyse how acts of self-protection created a physical relationship between my embodied subject self and COVID-19. As these acts kept changing with shifting norms, this relationship was constantly redefined, constituting a fluid subject status in close relation to an equally fluid concept of COVID-19. This study suggests a two-fold performativity of COVID-19: 1) the subject self in the pandemic, 2) the dimension of COVID-19 as a social construct. Both are performatively constructed as individuals practice regulatory norms through repetitive acts in concrete social contexts.

  • Healing the spirit: (2023-03-01)
    Jennifer Mary Carter USQ Dr Melissa Carey School of Nursing & Midwifery UniSQ https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2392-173X

    Liberation is the act of setting free from internal and social oppression (Afuape, 2011), in 2019 it was the Liberation Trail fire that raged through our place, turning the living essence of our livelihood, and belongings to dust. The dust had barely settled when the torrential rains drenched the remains, weeping over the ashes. These ashes were not just of things, houses, and furniture, but also of trees, ferns, and animals of all sizes. Next, it was isolation and fear that arose from the ashes in the form of Coronavirus (COVID-19 virus). Isolating people from the natural environment and from each other. Through these transmutations, we relied upon the resilient nature of the human spirit to survive. This autoethnographic story explores human resilience in the face of personal and global loss. The power of storytelling is an ancient tradition, stemming from a human need to make meaning of the lived experience. Each person who tells a story speaks from their ‘biographical position’ and is unique as the storyteller (Denzin, 2014). Stories, or narratives, assisted in the survival of cultures by retelling warnings of potential threats. They are intrinsic to all cultures, whether they are written or verbal. The act of storytelling can impart a metaphysical presence that can provide a sense of spirituality in the communication process (Snyder & Lindquist, 2006; Uys, 2014). Storytelling has been described as an expression of human consciousness and as such, can guide the person towards healing the spirit, and liberating from trauma (Carter,2019).

  • Lessons from the Field (2023-03-09)
    Elizabeth Guaresi University of Southern Queensland Melissa Carey

    Background: The aim of this research was to explore the lived experience of a mental health peer worker; the thought processes and actions, and the way relationships are built in order to support those with mental health concerns. This article reflects the research journey of a Masters student discovering the skills that underpin her practice as a Peer Support Worker within mental health services of a rural community in Queensland, Australia. 

    Methods:  Reflexive writing, storytelling, focus group with key informants

    Results:  Seven ‘Letter to Peers’ were written by the first author, reflexively analysed, and discussed during a focus group with key informants.   It was discovered that the key themes from reflexive writing and focus groups are skills used by the peer workforce and their support of people on their mental health recovery journey

    Conclusions:  Peer workers are skilled in many areas that are used to support another on their recovery journey.  These skills are acquired from their own journey of recovery, through life, and on reflection on the support given to others.  Underpinning the peer practice are skills such as: relationship building, validation, self-care, trauma informed practice, implementation of boundaries, and self-education.

    Key words; Autoenthnography, Mental Health Peer Worker, Recovery Journey

  • Publish or perish (2023-03-01)
    Gemma Louise Piercy University of Waikato

    The purpose of this paper is to share a poem I wrote as I seek to publish findings from my PhD. The poem, which can be considered as a form of evocative autoethnography, expresses trauma incurred during childhood triggered by feedback accompanying a desk reject. The poem echoes internalised judgement but also seeks to provide hope that achievement is possible even in the face of what feels insurmountable. The backdrop of the poem is the neo-liberal university, the emotive and perilous demand to publish or perish, as well as patriarchal mansplaining.

    Patricia Raquiman

    Esta investigación titulada “Estrategias didácticas del Witral desde una perspectiva decolonial para profesoras de artes visuales”, promueve la reflexividad intercultural crítica, para avanzar en la decolonización de los saberes en Chile. Para ello, se empleó un objeto estético cultural con carga simbólica del pueblo originario mapuche, denominado Witral (telar). Se intencionó la reflexividad en las prácticas a partir de las lógicas de ausencia, lo que permitió decolonizar la propia práctica desde una orientación deconstructiva. Se evidenció como la hegemonía cultural inivisibiliza manifestaciones culturales y comprensiones de mundo de los pueblos originarios. Se presenta un caso y ejemplos de sus discursos y bitácoras, como evidencia que la decolonización de las prácticas y pensamientos son una tarea diaria de reconstrucción y reflexión. En este diálogo genuino se ponen en juego creencias y valoraciones que responden a lógicas de invisibilización, negación y aniquilación, del otro y su cultura. Constituye un imperativo que profesoras y profesores realicen un proceso de reflexividad para avanzar hacia una mayor justicia social, con reconocimiento de la diversidad cultural y transformación de prácticas, que consideren la educación como un derecho de todos los pueblos.