Author: MichelleBowd

UOW student who Swims and Eats.........sometimes simultaneously​

Take a Pitcher…it will last longer

Michelles blog

My investigation working towards my digital artefact will endeavor to analyse my time travelling Asia, with a specification on local beers throughout each country I travelled. Growing up in Australia, drinking seems etched in Australian culture and is evident more than ever. We are known and stereotyped for our ability as a nation to chug back a bevy if the time permits.

Look at our former prime minister Bob Hawke for inspo on this:

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Having a drink can be a social connection, like after work or at a party. Now, this isn’t me here writing a blog about endorsing alcoholic consumption, but it is giving you a picture of the type of cultural normalities I have been a part of simply by being Australian.

As drinking is arguably a big part of Australian culture, when travelling to Asia alone as a backpacker I found myself in these same…

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Digital Asia – A beer on arrival

This week I want to talk about the time I backpacked around Asia after high school. I was your typical backpacker, with a huge bag making my way around the globe. Over the 8 months, I was in Asia I gained a lot of weight, this was typically from the amount of street food I was eating and the local beer I was consuming. Reflecting now, I noticed every place I went I would try their beer. It became a trend, I would arrive and then go out and sort after what the locals drank and what the tourists drank, to see the different tastes of the world. This gave me the idea to reflect on the local beers I experienced in my travels.

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Autobiographers write about epiphanies, which are remembered moments perceived to have significantly impacted the trajectory of a person’s life (Ellis et al, 2011, p. 2). Travelling as a teen around Asia was a great part of my life I will never forget, being able to further discuss my travels, recollecting memories and feelings long after the events is a great form of autoethnography, which I am glad that I get the chance to draw further on within my university studies in Digital Asia.

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Ellis et al (2011), illustrates, when researchers do autoethnography, they selectively write about epiphanies that stem from, or are made possible by, being part of a culture and by possessing a particular cultural identity. They can also use these experiences to also analyse and reflect on these experiences (Anderson, 2006 p.375). Traveling through all the different countries of Asia, and experiencing local cuisine gave me the opportunity to be emerged in the Asian culture, which is very different from my own culture. It taught me a great deal about Asian cultures, and in relation to beer the differing tastes from one country to the other.

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Autoethnography is both a product and a process, I am really excited to further my knowledge on the contrast of beers amongst Asia and take an autoethnographic approach as I work towards my final digital artefact.


Anderson L 2006, Analytic autoethnography, Journal of contemporary ethnography, vol 35, no 4, pp. 373-395.

Ellis C, Adams T, and Bochner A (2011) ‘Autoethnography: An Overview‘, Forum: Qualitative Social Research, vol 12, no 1, pp 1-12.

Akira, an autoethnographic approach.

Original Post can be found here.

The term Auto-ethnography is not a new construct for me as I have completed assessments on this method in other subjects. This meant coming into BCM 320, was probably the first time I knew what was going on which is an amazing feeling.

Ellis et al (2011) defines an Auto-ethnography as “an approach to writing and researching that seeks to describe and systematically analyse personal experiences to further understand cultural experience.” (p. 1).

My interpretation of this is: How does my background; including values, cultures, and beliefs, etc. create an interpretation and ideology towards the way in which I view and understand other cultures. Auto-ethnography’s allow’s for personal experiences to create a framework, expanding and opening up a wider lens on the world. This approach challenges canonical ways of doing research and representing others (Ellis et al, 2011, p. 2). 

This weeks film in Digital Asia was the 1988 Japanese anime film, Akira. Akira was Directed by Katsuhiro Otomo, who is also famous for such films as Steamboy (2004) and Neo Tokyo (1987).

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The film Akira had a budget of 1.1 Billion JPY, and the work is credited as having introduced both manga and anime to Western audiences. This is where for me, Auto-ethnography comes into play.

Watching Anime is new for me, the last type of anime I saw was probably as a 3/4-year-old watching Sailor Moon on Cheese TV.  Because of this, my knowledge and reception towards Anime isn’t the greatest, I just never really got into it. Because of this, watching the film I tried to find links so I could connect to the film, Akira.

One scene that I  resonated with was Tetsuo’s storyline and Stranger things. I noticed other people in my class also picked up on this so I am glad I wasn’t the only one.

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I followed this link to discover that this film had a great influence over western society. Eleven from Stranger things and Tetsuo’s character both hold similarities in their worlds they live in. Both characters have great powers after being used in human experimentations.

I then found a connection to Kanye that one of my classmates pointed out on twitter, and made the link to the Japanese anime film Akira and western society.

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                 (Source: Twitter)

How as a culture we are able to find similarities in a film and translate that so we as varying cultures of the world can understand a text. This goes beyond language, political and social cues. For this reason, An auto-ethnography approach on Japanese anime would make a great research project to complete a DA on. When researchers do autoethnography, they retrospectively and selectively write about epiphanies that stem from or are made possible by, being part of a culture and/or by possessing a particular cultural identity. I don’t really like anime, but I can relate and find meaning within it to be able to connect with it more. 



Ellis, C., Adams, T.E., and Bochner, A.P. (2011) ‘Autoethnography: An Overview‘, Forum: Qualitative Social Research, vol. 12, no. 1, pp. 1-12.

Leon, M 2017, ‘Inside Stranger Things: The Duffer Bros. on How They Made the TV Hit of the Summer’, Daily Beast, December 7, viewed August 14 2019, <>.

Digital Asia – The Host (2006)

Back at it again with the blogging this semester in BCM 320, Digital Asia. Enrolling in this subject I kind of had an idea what this subject would be about (key hint being the title) but I was really interested to know on a deeper level what I was getting myself into. The first film to kick off Digital Asia was a Korean film called ‘The Host’. This film was released in 2006 and was directed by Bong Joon Ho. Now surprisingly, this was my first time seeing a Korean film, and man did it deliver. There were monsters, viruses, and archery, what else could you ask for in a film.

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Watching films I know that my culture plays a role in how I perceive something. My background includes an English, Irish heritage…with a weee bit of Scottish. I have grown up with a western perception of film, and I am used to seeing the world of cinema through this lens, so watching The Host was new for me. With this in mind, I was surprisingly entertained throughout the film.

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Live-tweeting while watching the film was a new construct for me and I really enjoyed it but found it difficult to do both. Turns out reading subtitles and tweeting was harder than expected.

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Ellis et al (2011), discusses how when researchers commence ethnographic studies they study one’s culture, focussing on beliefs, values and shared experience. From this it allows outsiders to better understand the culture. What I did like in the movie was that I could find a connection with the way I view films through my values and beliefs, finding similarities communicated across cultures.

To discover deeper meanings behind films is one of my favorite things to do, so watching ‘The Host’, and linking the host with American capitalism, and the control to take over the world was a really interesting technique used by the writers. Another connection I made was the family dynamics. For example, the family in the movie had a dysfunctional relationship with each other and I too have a dysfunctional family, lol.

This film is a great way to kick off BCM 320 studies, and I am keen to dive even deeper into the world of Digital Asia.

OG Post can be found  –


Ellis, C., Adams, T.E., and Bochner, A.P, 2011, ‘Autoethnography: An Overview‘, Forum: Qualitative Social Research, Vol. 12, No. 1