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Negotiating and Navigating my Fat body - feminist autoethnographic encounters

Smailes, S (2014) Negotiating and Navigating my Fat body - feminist autoethnographic encounters. Athenea Digital, 14 (4). pp. 49-61. ISSN 1578-8946

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Abstract

In this paper, I engage with feminist autoethnography as a way of gaining insight into the cultural phenomenon of being a ‘fat’ woman. Feminist autoethnography is an in-depth and engaged approach, opening up colonised spaces and discourses. The process highlights the being with and exposing vulnerable fluid 'selves' – challenging notions of a self, which is a neatly contained and managed 'identity'. The critical process of feminist autoethnography interweaves with the literature in feminist research, feminisms, autoethnography, critical fat studies, and intersectionality. A key to this exploration is the reflexive process of researching the experiences of being a ‘fat’ woman’ and whether I (and my discourse) “resists the social and institutional norms that often dictate research” and “promote women's voices and unique experiences" (Averett, Soper, 2011, p. 371-372).

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