My Understanding on Autoethnography

The first step in autoethnographic research is taking a look at yourself, and understanding that everything that has happened to you makes you who you are, and impacts how you see the world around you. The second step is accepting that you can’t do anything to change that.

Autoethnography is an approach to research and writing that seeks to describe and systematically analyse (graphy) personal experience (auto) in order to understand cultural experience (ethno),” – Ellis, Adams and Bocher 2011.

As mentioned in Ellis’ Autoethnography: An Overview, authors often find it therapeutic to write personal stories as it helps to make sense of ourselves and our experiences (Ellis et al, 2011). By taking an auto ethnographic approach, authors are also able to question themselves to improve and understand relationships and promote change (Ellis et al, 2011).

I believe this demonstrates auto-ethnography methodology in its truest and literal form; as “both process and product” (Ellis et al 2011), but largely one of observation. Auto-ethnography is engaging with one’s own familiarities and then contrasting and comparing it to the unfamiliar to give your initial contextual framework greater definition, while building appreciation for the “other”.

One of the main critical responses to autoethnography is that it can be ‘too artful and not scientific, or too scientific and not sufficiently artful.’ (Ellis et al, 2011).

‘We know that memory is fallible, that it is impossible to recall or report on events in language that exactly represents how those events were lived and felt; and we recognize that people who have experienced the “same” event often tell different stories about what happened’ (TULLIS OWEN et al., 2009).

The quote above really caught my attention during the reading as no two people will feel exactly the same about any experience. Thoughts, feelings and backgrounds are just a few of the factors that impact how each individual sees the world and how they experience anything.

DIGC330 has already provided this shift for me, by watching Battle Royal ll: Requiem (2003) and Akira (1988). While previously I felt my knowledge of film was comprehensive, these films have totally changed my understanding of the medium. They have demonstrated that there is more to the genre then Hollywood, and by extension more than the culturally-exclusive framework I had been approaching film through.

Feeling like a kid all over again whos discovering film for the first time, my entire language being challenged. Yet this is the ideal starting point for auto-ethnographic research.


  1. Ellis, C., Adams, T.E., and Bochner, A.P. 2011 ‘Autoethnography: An Overview‘, Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 12:1, viewed 10th August 2017, http://www.qualitative-research.net/index.php/fqs/article/view/1589/3095

9 thoughts on “My Understanding on Autoethnography”

  1. I think you have written your blog really professionally and understood the concept of doing research. I concur with how our past experiences can impact our current perspective on things. The quote that you mentioned, everyone tells a different story. In my opinion, that’s what autoethnography is about! Hope to see more of your writing (:

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Im impressed with your take on autoethnography and the clarity of writing has cleared my understanding on this topic area. Indeed, the idea of people with the same experience telling different stories is today’s reality and personally i’ve went through the same phase. We all have different vision to look from and autoethnography is quite an interesting research method that leaves researches with a lifelong lesson of knowledge and experience. I enjoyed reading your post and also i like your meme design; its quite appealing. I’ll be looking forward for your future post. Keep writing! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I think the way that u linked yourself into autoethnography. Because after studying this lecture, it helps me to reflect on myself. I realise that everyone has the different background which makes everyone ‘s life better and special. You have a really inspired blog post. Keep it go

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Loving the way that you explain your understanding on autoethnography. especially you linked your previous learning to it. Your blog is really inspired me to think deeper into the topic. Looking forward to reading your upcoming blog posts.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I can see you understand and comprehend the concept of autoethnography the way you illustrate it is clear and easy to understand which help readers easily understand the tenet of autoethnography. I agree that everyone has his/her own personal experience which brings out a different story even they talk about the same topic and that is, I think, the beauty in autoethnography. I am looking forward to reading your upcoming post. Keep it up!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. The clarity with which you wrote this makes me think you’d make for an excellent and very thorough autoethnographer should you ever feel like exploring different cultures. It’s just a curious thought of my own but seeing that you’re accepting and understanding of various thinking perspectives is quite encouraging seeing as people nowadays are in desperate need of learning more about each other.

    Liked by 1 person

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