Reconstructing my identity: an autoethnographic exploration of depression and anxiety in academia

Campbell, Elaine (2018) Reconstructing my identity: an autoethnographic exploration of depression and anxiety in academia. Journal of Organizational Ethnography, 7 (3). pp. 235-246. ISSN 2046-6749

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Official URL: http://doi.org/10.1108/JOE-10-2017-0045

Abstract

This study adopts an evocative autoethnography approach, utilising diary entries collected during the author’s three-month absence from her university due to depression and anxiety. A contemporary methodology, autoethnography seeks to use personal experience to provide a deeper understanding of culture. In this personal story, the author explores her decline in mental health and subsequent reconstruction of her academic identity in order to enhance understanding of the organisational culture of higher education.

This paper illustrates how, rather than being an achievement, academic identity is an ongoing process of construction. Although mental health illness can contribute to a sense of loss of self, identity can be re-constructed during and after recovery. Autoethnographic explorations of depression and anxiety in higher education provide a deeper understanding of an often stigmatized issue, but researchers should be alive to the political and ethical pitfalls associated with deeply reflexive research.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: autoethnography, depression, anxiety, academia
Subjects: L900 Others in Social studies
X900 Others in Education
Department: Faculties > Business and Law > Northumbria Law School
Depositing User: Becky Skoyles
Date Deposited: 04 May 2018 08:33
Last Modified: 11 Dec 2018 11:47
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/34149

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