Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name



Urban Education


Konstantinos Alexakos

Committee Members

David Bloomfield

Deborah Shanley

Subject Categories

Educational Sociology | Humane Education


Authentic Inquiry, Autoethnography, habitus, field, reflexivity, Event-Oriented Inquiry


The focus of this autoethnographic dissertation is the exploration of habitus and how it consciously and unconsciously influences our perceptions, emotions, values, and actions. I describe this dissertation as an autoethnography to highlight my subjective approach to research and to dispel any claims of objectivity. Through my experiences as a daughter, mother, administrator, and teacher-educator, I explore three internal conflicts, highlighted by intense emotional reactions, and deconstruct how my past and present contexts inform my values, beliefs, and actions. In each chapter, I describe several events that led to a greater understanding of my emotional responses and how I adapted my practices to better support my family, students, and staff. This work is informed by a bricolage of theoretical frameworks that help structure and illuminate the experiences discussed in each chapter. I include methods and methodologies that support my interpretation and reinterpretation of past and present experiences and utilize event-oriented inquiry to analyze specific moments by answering the following questions: What happened? Why did it happen? and, What more is there? Authentic Inquiry is presented as an overarching framework and guides the emergent and contingent nature of this work.