My cultural identities blend into an ambiguous aesthetic that cannot be contained by boxes asking “what are you?” Racial marking, however, leaves little room for negotiation. In this essay, I use critical autoethnography to illuminate the Black/White binary, stereotypes, and microaggressions through everyday interactions. I use autocritography, a critical subgenre of autoethnographic inquiry that interrogates traditionally muted complexities, pains, confusions, and possibilities that push a person to study what they study, to connect my standpoint to scholarship. Using autocritography, I examine how the complexity and intersections of my identity influence my communication with others and analyze the underlying meanings of my experiences.
“What Are You?”: An Autocritography of Language, Stereotypes, and Microaggressions
Ashlee A. Lambert is pursuing a graduate degree in the Department of Communication with a certificate in American Studies at Saint Louis University. A 2019–2021 Diversity Fellow at SLU, her research and teaching interests focus on communication, culture, identity, power, and social justice.
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Ashlee A. Lambert; “What Are You?”: An Autocritography of Language, Stereotypes, and Microaggressions. Journal of Autoethnography 11 January 2021; 2 (1): 13–25. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/joae.2021.2.1.13
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