Using autoethnography and visual storytelling to examine how identity is informed by social normative behavior in India and the United States

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This research uses a highly personalized account of my experiences as an autoethnography of the complexities, interpretations, and reflections of gender, discrimination, and identity as informed by normative social behavior through visual storytelling in Indian culture. This self-study was prompted by my involvement as the researcher and subject in the social context of my Indian background. This autoethnography study examines my own emotions, attitudes, and thoughts about my unique experiences from an insider's perspective with the intent to generalize these experiences beyond myself and my own culture. Research directions include examining otherness within different groups, examining visual cultural influences, the role of visual cultural influences on otherness within families and cultures, and how visual cultural influences inform my identity. A qualitative study of the author's experiences helps the reader gain a better, deeper, and richer understanding of another person and/or culture. Despite the uniqueness of Indian culture, addressing topics of identity and gender through the methodology of autoethnography allows a diverse audience, including academics and laypeople, to understand the author's stories and findings through introspection and evaluation. Sharing my experiences through story and photo narration makes the research richer and strengthens my art practice. Important findings include how storytelling requires visual artefacts to influence memory, narrative, and culture.

Autoethnography, Ethnography, PhotoNarration, Storytelling, Thick Description, Visual Culture, Gender identity, Indian Society, Hijra, Indian Family