Skip to main content
The Write of Passage: Reflections on Writing a Dissertation in Narrative Methodology
Forum: Qualitative Social Research
  • Chaim Noy, Hebrew University
Document Type
Publication Date
  • narrative,
  • identity,
  • autoethnography,
  • rite-of-passage,
  • writing,
  • dissertation,
  • modern,
  • post-modern
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

In this essay I explore, reflect upon and theorize my experiences as a doctoral student writing a dissertation in the field of narrative studies. The inquiry concentrates on the problematic tensions that are unique to academic writing in qualitative disciplines, tensions with which I dealt and grappled extensively during my work. I wish to reflect, through the writing of a theoretically informed autoethnography, on the space inscribed between the proposal and the dissertation, and thus on the young scholar's initiation journey through a constructed, narrative-in-becoming space, and on the relationship between the backpackers' narratives of identity and change, which I researched, and my own. In doing so I will evocatively problematize the epitome of the academic rite-of-passage, i.e. the writing of a modern dissertation, in times of post-modern inquiry and writing. The discussion is informed by the experience of travel and journey which took place between the interviewees' travel narratives and my own (in the form of a dissertation writing); between "field" and "office"; between positivist and interpretive paradigms; between proposal and dissertation, between paternal and maternal sources of writing, and between academic/scientific and poetic expression. The essay offers contributions to the inquiry into reflexivity and subjectivity within the growing paradigm of qualitative methodology, to the inquiry of rites-of-passage into communities and institutions, and it problematizes the possibility that narrative can contain and convey the post-modern, overwhelmed and fractured self.

Citation / Publisher Attribution

Forum: Qualitative Social Research, v. 4, no. 2, p.

Citation Information
Chaim Noy. "The Write of Passage: Reflections on Writing a Dissertation in Narrative Methodology" Forum: Qualitative Social Research Vol. 4 Iss. 2 (2003)
Available at: