It’s all starting to come together!

As defined by Ellis et al “Auto-Enthography is is an approach to research and writing that seeks to describe and systematically analyze personal experience in order to understand cultural experience’ (2011). I will be applying this to the representation of Japanese culture as a whole on reddit (mentioned in previous blogs).

As I haven’t been to Japan (yet) to experience this, I will be attempting to submerge myself in the online communities of reddit to enable me to gain a full understanding of why these sub-reddits exisit, who is using them and what I can learn. The personal experiences I will be drawing on will be my perusing of these Sub-reddits which will help me to “study a culture’s relational practices, common values and beliefs, and shared experiences for the purpose of helping insiders (cultural members) and outsiders (cultural strangers) better understand the culture (Maso, 2001).  I believe that as reddit is a forum with a HUGE traffic flow (Average of 16 Million per month) it will be the perfect place to complete my auto-ethnographic study. I will be focusing on 3 main subreddits /r/japan, /r/japanlife and /r/japansports. In the following weeks I will be analysing each of these sub-reddits in more detail in order to better utilise some of the “showing” and “telling” techniques in which Ellis et all mentions (2011).

I feel like the main barrier for the study will be where exactly to start and what information will be relevant. Though this should be overcome by simply spending time on these particular subreddits, making use of screenshots and putting together a Prezi with my findings in a mind map sort of layout.


Maso, Ilja (2001). Phenomenology and ethnography. In Paul Atkinson, Amanda Coffey, Sara Delamont, John Lofland & Lyn Lofland (Eds.), Handbook of ethnography (pp.136-144). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Ellis, C; Adams T E; Bochner A P 2011 ‘Autoethnography: An Overview’, Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social Research, vol. 12, no. 1 art. 10


  1. Hi,

    I think that your idea to use Reddit as your platform is a great idea, especially considering there is so much Japanese content filtering through the site. I am not an expert on Reddit at all, though it sounds as if you have your plan for the auto-ethnographic study worked out quite well. I think it will be hard to find out about the people who are posting the information, as you are only capable of accessing their profile information. Though it would be interesting to find out whether Japanese content is mainly posted by people from Japan, Japanese diaspora or just fans from all different parts of the world.
    I am interested to find out how you go about researching this and what results you find!!

    An idea may be that you add a Japanese person on Facebook or online somehow and ask them yourself? That is a great way to incorporate some first-hand experience into your auto-ethnographic study!

    I look forward to reading more about your work!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi there,

    It is nice to hear that your autoethnographic studies is all coming together. It definitely gets a bit like that sometimes when it just gets a bit confusing to actually start but when you do it all seems to come together!

    I think it is a great idea to focus on only a couple of the sub Reddit cultures as you have mentioned in your blog, and think this will be a great way to really question why the content is there and what is popular on Reddit. I like the idea from Amy about possibly asking somebody from Japan and to personally speak to them about the culture, this would definitely give you a big benefit on the autoethnography sides of things and will produce even more accurate and interesting results.



  3. Ta983,
    Spending time immersing yourself in these subreddits is a fantastic method of autoethnography, but you haven’t elaborated on the techniques you will use to engage with the community. Which is perfectly fine because, just as everyone else, we’re all diving into our individual research projects and we don’t know what to look at first! So here are some pointers. As Amy and Hannah have said, you could interact directly with users from Japan – or Japanese diaspora and fans. But you could also create posts and comment on the subreddits to encourage interactions and discover the rich representation of Japan on Reddit. And as you said, the more time you’re involved on Reddit the more you are likely to learn and have to talk about cats – I mean Japan!
    Some other things to think about is the meta representation of Japan on Reddit: What type of content related to Japanese culture is displayed on the frontpage? And, how does the larger community interact and respond to that content?
    And directly related to your subreddits: how and who is circulating content on your chosen subreddits; what type of content and what is consistently popular; and how do people respond…etc.
    Reddit is a very exciting field study to examine and explore, and a perfect medium to bring your ‘cultural baggage’ to through opinion and commenting on posts. Good luck 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I think that using Reddit as a platform is a great idea for this project – especially regarding Japan. It will give you a change to fully emerge yourself in the culture and interact with the products and the content that they partake in. This platform is a great tool to engage with auto ethnographical research – it allows you to track and follow different cultures. It would be interesting to try and talk and interact with people from Japan – ask them questions and dig deeper into your research. You could also maybe compare the difference between Japan, other Asian countries in comparison on Australia and your experiences with this research. Seems interesting!!!!!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s