Challenging Depressive Ghosts in the Hegemonic Closet: An Autoethnography



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The following autoethnographic study highlights the perceptions of a Southern, White male teacher, at times experiencing bouts of depression and anxiety, in the predominantly White rural high school community he both lives and works. The researcher- teacher utilizes critical reflection, self-imposed transportation theory, and arts-based research to unravel these perceptions and to enhance his autobiographical findings.

The intent of this research was to uncover one predominantly White Southern High School community?s actions and thoughts through the eyes of someone not born and established in the community. Another intent was to give a White male further perspectives into his biography, his attitudes of racism, prejudice, and inequality, and further understanding into the underlying causes of depression that bound his experiences in one place.

The findings exposed and confirmed hegemonic control of the predominantly White rural high school community and attitudes towards new residents without established ties to the community. It also revealed evidence of isolated acts of racism and inequities within the rural high school community. Furthermore, the study revealed that critical reflection and self-imposed transportation theory, while at times dangerous for the teacher-researcher experiencing depression or anxiety, none-the-less, is effective for unleashing possible ties that bind both depression and anxiety to original perceptions made within the community.