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Education | Race, Ethnicity and Post-Colonial Studies


This article presents the connection of a personal dissertation process to the wider world of qualitative research. Using the concept of transitional space as a metaphor, the author chronicles her theoretical transition from critical race theory to poststructural theory to emerging questions about material feminism. This transition is mapped to three major qualitative research moments within the field: modernist, crisis of representation, and the future. Autoethnography and found text are used to present the micro and macro telling of the dissertation process. White racial identity development among Christian teacher educators at a religious university was the original dissertation focus. Ethical dilemmas emerged during the data collection process, presenting the researcher with a theoretical crisis that needed to be addressed.

Document Type

Accepted Version


This article is the author-created version that incorporates referee comments. It is the accepted-for-publication version. The content of this version may be identical to the published version (the version of record) save for value-added elements provided by the publisher (e.g., copy editing, layout changes, or branding consistent with the rest of the publication).


©2011 SAGE Publications.

Original Citation

Genevieve Harris
Inward, outward, onward: autoethnography of a dissertation in (qualitative) transitional space.
Qualitative Inquiry, 2011, volume 17, issue 8, pages 725-731



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