Autoethnography is not that strange

Since my first year, I have been asked to express my understanding and observation of an issue or a culture through blogging and responding to fellows’ blog posts, while reflecting to my own experiences. In many cases, my background as a person growing up in Asia gave me a wider view on the issue as well as the ability to compare the issue in different culture. In DIGC330, we live tweet our experiences with the movie base on our cultural backgrounds during the screenings.

Autoethnography is defined by Ellis et all (2011) as “an approach to research and writing that seeks to describe and systematically analyze (graphy) personal experience (auto) in order to understand cultural experience (ethno).”

In the modern pop culture, autoethnographic practices can be found in arts, such as literature and filmmaking. The genre of the diary film, which focus on the self as subject, is an example. This genre has been used to highlight the fractured nature of the self through the production of short films and the reputation of the practice.

Ida’s Diary is a unique insight into a world of fear and anxiety and precious moments of everyday victories and self-discovery as well, and describe powerful struggle towards self-acceptance and a genuine appreciation of life.


For instance, since my viewpoint towards e-sport in Asia has changed after State of Play, the act of live tweeting can be seen as the form “reflexive ethnography” (Ellis, 2011), because it documented the way I change as a result of fieldwork (watching the movie and comparing with which in my country base on the similarity in culture between two countries).

Even though all those practices I’ve done may not fully be autoethnographic practices, they still contain some form of autoethnography. Now, it’s about how I will develop all of these for the upcoming digital artefacts, following the description by Ellis in Handbook of Autoethnography:

“… It asks that we not only examine our lives but also consider how and why we think, act, and feel as we do. Autoethnography requires that we observe ourselves observing, that we interrogate what we think and believe, and that we challenge our own assumptions, asking over and over if we have penetrated as many layers of our own defenses, fears, and insecurities as our project requires. It asks that we rethink and revise our lives, making conscious decisions about who and how we want to be. (Jones, 2013, p. 10)”



  1. Hi Minh!

    I love the way you interacted with auto-ethnography in your blog post and the correlation between reflexivity and live tweeting. I also find it interesting how we can be so single minded at the start of a film and then by examining it, can do a complete flip of opinion.

    The way you used another source to support your statements was also great and how Jones alludes to why, the WHY and HOW is so important in auto-ethnographic research.

    I also enjoyed how you related Ellis’ work to Ida’s Diary and video diary’s as a rising art form and form of research. Self-discovery and self-acceptance are what we aim to identify and write about in auto-ethnography and it is this qualitative data that we are interested in.

    Great post, if you wanted to know a little bit more about auto-ethnography through videos, here is a great read: (


    Liked by 2 people

  2. When the term autoethnography was first mentioned, I was intimidated at the fact that we would have to use our own personal experiences. However, as your post explains, we have actually been using this form of writing since first year with our blog posts. Your example of live tweeting as a form of reflexive ethnography was an idea I hadn’t yet considered. I really look forward to following more of your posts.


  3. So, great blog. I like how you have linked the idea of the live tweeting with and watching the movie as a form of reflexology. You have definitely, even if only in a small way, participated in Autoethnographic research. You were learning firsthand how to watch a movie that required you to read subtitles, while also live tweeting what you were seeing, hearing and reading. You can now tell people about how you learned to do this and learned about esports.

    Shameless plug to go have a look at my blogs for this topic 🙂


  4. Live tweeting and reflexology – awesome. I agree that modern pop culture (and our use of blogging platforms as students) is highly autoethnographic. I have watched Ida’s Diary and enjoyed the film. I did not think of autoethnography when watching it, so it was nice to see it a part of autoethnographic film discussion.


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