After reviewing my previous blog post “Digital Asia Journey”, I have discovered that there has been some connections between my narrative and the research of auto ethnographic studies. When writing an autobiography, the author reflects and selectively writes about past experiences (Ellis et al, 2011). I approached the previous blog question in a way that made me reflect on all the encounters I have had with anything relating to Asia in the past. Still continuing to reflect on myself, I notice how I am more comfortable writing in first person and in the form of an informal blog that can be communicated in a descriptive narrative way.
Narrative ethnography refers to text in the form of a story which communicates the writer’s past experiences (Ellis et al, 2011). This form of ethnography also incorporates the study of others, and now others who might have experienced the same or different types of epiphanies when encountering a similar experience or narrative. I thought this was my form of writing, however I still lack falling back on the research of others due to the mentality that I believe I am the only one who experienced events the way I experienced them. The whole purpose of an auto-ethnographic piece of writing is to “translate the personal into the social science research realm with unique first-person representations that are accessible to readers both within and outside various communities in the global context.” (Marx et al. 2017). Which means you write about your personal experiences to somehow relate them to already collected research and contribute to this research for a greater mutual understanding about various topics.
For example, in my previous blog I discussed how racism may of contributed to my lack of exposure to asian culture. This is where I achieved the first step of the auto-ethnography but failed to link it to research that has already been completed. This form of ethnographic study can be referred to as Personal Narrative. In contrast with narrative ethnography, personal narrative is to understand yourself more through the therapeutic form of writing. The purpose is to invite readers into the world of the author where they can reflect, understand and cope with their own lives, it is not always accompanied by a traditional analysis (Ellis et al, 2011).
Personally, I find narrative writing more interesting than endless pages of data, research and formal articles. The purpose is to stimulate your imagination and tell a story. It can be both fact or fiction and makes it a useful tool to communicate issues and experiences to the general public in an intriguing way (Mac Donnchaidh, 2018). Relating back to my previous blog, I would hope that it was a more interesting way to communicate my experience of Asia in a chronological and “showing” way, instead of a formal and “telling” form.
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Ellis, C., Adams, T. and Bochner, A. (2011). Autoethnography: An Overview. [online] Volume 12, No. 1, Art. 10. Available at: http://www.qualitative-research.net/index.php/fqs/article/view/1589/3095 [Accessed 19 Sep. 2019].
Humanrights.gov.au. (2014). No place for racism | Australian Human Rights Commission. [online] Available at: https://www.humanrights.gov.au/our-work/no-place-racism [Accessed 18 Sep. 2019].
Mac Donnchaidh, S. (2019). How to write an excellent Narrative — Literacy Ideas. [online] Literacy Ideas. Available at: https://www.literacyideas.com/narratives [Accessed 9 Sep. 2019].
Marx, S., Pennington, J. and Chang, H. (2017). Critical Autoethnography in Pursuit of Educational Equity: Introduction to the IJME Special Issue. International Journal of Multicultural Education, 19(1), p.1.