What is autoethnography?

ibzonation

When I began reading the introduction to ‘Autoethnography: an overview’ by Ellis (et al. 2011), I was not prepared for the level of academic jargon I would need to sift through in order to understand a complex research topic. To my surprise, my encounter with the reading was much less confronting.

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

To put it simply, autoethnography is about exploring and understanding your experience with another culture. Is this practice limited to academic research, or is it more common in our lives than that? Well, if you are planning to ‘systematically analyse’ this experience, then – probably. But the practice of subjecting your personal identity to a new cultural experience? We do that when…

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