(DE)CONSTRUCTING A NARRATIVE OF HOPE: AN (AUTO)ETHNOGRAPHIC APPROACH TO “MISSING PERSON” DISCOURSES
McGreehan, Dianah Prince
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In this thesis, I address personal and cultural narratives surrounding missing persons and loss. I write relational stories of coping through traumatic loss to further understand how (co)constructed meanings emerge in the liminal space between hope and grief. I inquire into how our perspectives and narratives shift over time as we engage with individuals, communities, and the media. I discuss how individuals can begin to cope with pain and form meaning through shared narrative. I explain how autoethnography provides a space for members of this cultural group to gain an understanding of the ambiguity and complexity experienced in traumatic loss. Through the reflexivity of autoethnography, readers and writers employ experiential engagement to understand the interconnection and commonality of self with others. I remind readers how the communal nature of narratives can serve as a therapeutic intervention to gain resilience toward uncertainty when a loved one is a missing person.