Patrick Coffey | Author

Beyond The Silence: Autoethnography An Act of Will

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Auto-ethnography is a creative and reflective qualitative research methodology by which researchers offer personal narratives to explore and articulate cultural experience. The methodology requires a reflexive collaboration between author & reader to seek out and articulate outcomes in an on-going and developing process, which allows for momentary conclusions and further and on-going reflections. It seeks to record truths through poetic communication, which may otherwise be lost through traditional academic analysis, measurement and the imposition of fixed conclusions. It seeks to use the human ability to communicate at a sophisticated and complex level to add layers of knowledge. Here, in emotive language, the author explores the practicalities of ‘doing auto-ethnography’, how the barriers of traditional academic frameworks and responsibilities towards relational ethics can silence the authentic auto-ethnographer. The author argues that authentic auto-ethnography and creative research can demand risk-taking and vulnerability on the part of the researcher, which traditional academic institutions can find challenging, if not unpalatable. He argues that postmodern philosophies not only encourage but also demand such risk-taking in the pursuit of new and creative research methodologies, which can encourage real change in professional practice and better long-term outcomes for those experiencing such practice.
About Patrick Coffey

Patrick Coffey is a registered Social Worker in the UK; he trained at the University of Plymouth, where he achieved his MA. It was here that he developed an academic, as well as a practical, interest in, Autoethnography. 

Patrick spent his childhood within the care of a UK local authority. His experiences as a fostered child and young person have encouraged him to be a strong advocate to and political campaigner for those in the care system today.

Patrick is a Church of England Priest, with an undergraduate degree from the University of Oxford and MA from the University of Sheffield; he has an MBA from Brighton University and has been a Business Development Manager in the commercial environment. 

Patrick is currently writing his first novel in which he combines life writing and creative writing to explore the impacts upon adulthood of a childhood experienced within care.