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Engaging Racial Autoethnography as a Teaching Tool for Womanist Inquiry

Taylor, Janette Y. PhD, RN; Mackin, Melissa A. Lehan BSN, RN; Oldenburg, Angela M. BA, RN

doi: 10.1097/01.ANS.0000341414.03963.fa
Original Article

Racial autobiography, self-narratives on how one learned about the idea of race, has been underutilized as a tool to familiarize and orient students in the process of critical inquiry for nursing research. The aims of this article are to explore how racial autoethnography: (1) repositions students to effect an epistemological change, (2) challenges dominant ideology, and (3) functions as a link between the student and critical theories for use in nursing research. Students engage in and share reflective narrative about a variety of instructional materials used in the course. Reflective narratives are presented in a framework that addresses white racial identity development.

Obermann Center for Advanced Studies (Dr Taylor), and College of Nursing (Dr Taylor, Mss Mackin and Oldenburg), University of Iowa, Iowa City.

Corresponding Author: Janette Y. Taylor, PhD, RN, College of Nursing, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA 52242 (

A version of this article was presented at the 2007 Qualitative Inquiry Conference in Champaign, Illinois.

© 2008 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.