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‘Reflexive autoethnography’: Subjectivity, emotion and multiple perspectives in conservation decision-making

Henderson, Jane ORCID:, Lingle, Ashley and Parkes, Phillip ORCID: 2023. ‘Reflexive autoethnography’: Subjectivity, emotion and multiple perspectives in conservation decision-making. Presented at: ICOM-CC 20th Triennial Conference, 18-22 September 2023. Published in: Bridgland, J. ed. Working Towards a Sustainable Past. ICOM-CC 20th Triennial Conference Preprints. , vol.20 Paris: ICOM,

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In the day-to-day practice of conservators, involving deadlines, resource challenges and management demands, there are relatively few opportunities to compare the relationship of the profession to the changing social landscape. As conservation practice itself is relatively stable, the need to question assumptions raises the challenge of how to build this reflexive record constructively into a more diachronic social discourse. A radical reflexive approach to reviewing our own practice generates opportunities to question the way we account for what we experience and, by questioning claims, assumptions, knowledge, and beliefs, to make them more transparent. In this paper a technique of collaborative autoethnography is proposed. Its aim is to support professionals in their engagement in reflexive practice and thus better represent the continual process of connection and change between the cultural context and conservation practice. A case study from a recent conservation project is used to explore the potential of this methodology. Based on this experience we argue that the profession will become more sustainable by extending its practice beyond reflection, to acting with reflexivity.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Status: Published
Schools: History, Archaeology and Religion
Subjects: A General Works > AM Museums (General). Collectors and collecting (General)
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BJ Ethics
Uncontrolled Keywords: autoethnography, emotion, reflexivity, sustainable practice
Publisher: ICOM
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 14 September 2023
Date of Acceptance: 20 April 2023
Last Modified: 21 Oct 2023 01:30

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