The Autoethnographic Methodology: Two Schools of Thought

Sunny Commandeur

This post draws upon two works; Autoethnography: An Overview (Ellis et al 2011), and Analytic Autoethnography (Anderson, Leon 2006).

Autoethnography, as I have previously begun to explore, is an approach to writing that analyses one’s personal experience with another culture, in an effort to treat reseach as a socially conscious act. There is an acknowledgement of the writer’s personal context, and the way it shapes the findings, interpretation and presentation of the work.

As a combination of autobiography and ethnography, there are two main schools of thought regarding the author’s methodology: evocative and analytical. Much autoethnographical writing tends to exist on a scale between the two, but there are differentiating factors that can be used to categorise research.

Evocative autoethnography refers to a more autobiagraphical approach to writing. Ellis defines the process as:

  • A researcher experiences culture as a participant observer
  • They collate their experience using hindsight, looking…

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