process of trying to narrate one’sown voice—a voice coming from within, from one’s soul. It is the process ofmaking that voice available to others who are interested in viewing the worldfrom a different perspective and through a different lens.The idea of theindividual/self-identity, perhaps, is the most basic unit of culture. This alsobrings to the forefront the definition of culture that I will be using, whichis Geertz’s (1973) classical definition of culture. Geertz defines culture as”historically transmitted patterns embodied in symbols, a system of inheritedconceptions expressed in symbolic forms by means of which people communicate,perpetuate, and develop their knowledge about and attitudes toward life” (p.89).
Freeman (1997) theorizes that narratives do not reflect a culture but, rather,constitute a culture. Other narrative theorists agree that the “cultural self”emerges from memory reconstructions (Nelson, 2004, p. 87). Thus, I agree thatnarratives about the self are culturally and discursively situated and that itis this situatedness, as Feldman (2001) has emphasized, that ensures that we donot fall prey to a kind of autobiographical autism.
Simply put, “‘my story’ cannever be wholly mine, alone, because I define and articulate my existence withand among others” (Freeman, 2001, p. 287). In other words, my narratives arenot all about me, the narrator, but involve other people who play a role in mylived experiences. Within the autobiography I explain how this process helps menavigate the space between my individual experience and my culture(s). Thenarrative analysis process as the mechanism of learning is included within eachnarrative, and I consider the entire process transformative for me and forothers who read them. Each narrative shows the tie between interculturallearning experiences and how they contribute to a learning process that isfurther facilitated through the methodology/process of autoethnography.