Auto-ethnography and Me

Studying marketing throughout my university degree has opened me up to a large amount of ways to conduct research. Learning about ethnography is something that I have now been doing for years mostly to learn the ways you can use it to sell products. So when I started DIGC330 and the term autoethnography came up I was somewhat keen to see what this new type of ethnography was all about but also hoping it wouldn’t be as dry as some of the stuff in marketing. Chris had explained it well and then the reading really showed me what it was all about. (It took three weeks of Chris nagging for me to listen and read it but 100% worth it).

So in short autoethnography seeks to systematically analyse personal experience in order to understand cultural experience (Ellis, et al. 2011). This is done by selecting moments that one could consider an epiphany about the culture or themselves that helps explains their reaction or the cultural experience. In other words the most memorable moments that occur. Auto ethnographers recognise the ways that their own personal experience will influence their research and consider this when analysing their findings.

Learning this process of autoethnography it made me consider cultural experiences that I have had in my life and if there had been any moments that I could consider an epiphany. I did think of one. In 2014 I went on University exchange in the Netherlands. Although there are many similarities between Australians and Dutch both cultures have some very distinct differences as well. I travelled there knowing the country is very flat and small but I would read facts such as there are more push-bikes in the country than people and really question why. It wasn’t until one day that I was riding down the street and I saw a lady riding her bike with three kids on it with her and I just got it. They can not only get everywhere on it they can take their whole family with them until they can do it by themselves anyway.


This personal experience of auto-ethnography is not complete though. In order to complete the research process I would have to analyse why I reacted this way or held the beliefs I did about the experience initially.

This subject has the task of conducting autoethnography on an aspect of Asian culture. I am very keen to do this knowing that this research has already been a part of my life without me really knowing. The chance to conduct it on a culture in Asia that I am interested in is also a great opportunity. Reflecting on some of my personal experiences has helped me make a decision on what I think I would like to study. That is Japanese marketing. My keen interest on marketing has led me to this decision. It has also been influenced as I know Japanese marketing is very different to marketing in Australia. For now I’m going to check out some Japanese advertisements and go from there. Stay posted for more on my progression as this one unfolds.



Ellis, C., Adams, T.E., and Bochner, A.P. 2011 ‘Autoethnography: An Overview‘, Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 12:1, viewed 10th August 2017,

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