Autoethnography

Autoethnography is an interesting and promising qualitative method that offers a way of giving voice to personal experience to extend sociological understanding.

“Furthermore, scholars began recognizing that different kinds of people possess different assumptions about the world—a multitude of ways of speaking, writing, valuing and believing—and that conventional ways of doing and thinking about research were narrow, limiting, and parochial.” (Paragraph 5)

I think that’s interesting to think about, you ever had a conversation with someone, and they take what you said, completely differently, then how you meant it? I think about this all the time, my sister and I always get into arguments over miscommunication. I can say “ok” through text, and at times, depending on the conversation, she takes it negatively, and there starts a fight. I am pinning to the point that different kinds of people possess different assumptions while communicating in any form. Especially now a day, with communication done through text messages, I started using voice messages at a point so my sister can hear my tone vs. assuming whatever crazy things her mind can lead her to believe.

At first, I perceived Autoethnography to be a personal account. But upon further reading, I figured auto meant self, ethno meant the sociocultural connection and graphy would then be the research itself. I like this method, I have recently turned vegan, and I feel like a study like this would be great to understand why I and others are at a fast rate becoming vegan. Autoethnography would allow me to explore and analyze and compare and contrast a vegan’s motivation, philosophical thinking. It would also let me see the impact the diet has had on them intrapersonally and interpersonally. Am I getting this right? I think I am, could be wrong…

I also really like this process because we can tell it like a story, and appeal to the readers. I’m more of a narrative writer anyways. I love being able to incorporate my own experiences with others, showing and telling the truth; this sounds like fun. I wonder if there’s a way to do this for my own research paper, Dr. Nelson?

Whose Story Is It? An Autoethnography Concerning Narrative Identity by
Alec J. Grant and Laetitia Zeeman is even more enjoyable than the first reading.

“Autoethnographic storytelling has further related and important functions. It can be therapeutic for the storyteller to work through difficult times, events, and issues in his/her own life in the development of a preferred identity.” (2) When I mentioned becoming a vegan earlier, it is very personal to me, maybe that’s why I related it to this qualitative method. I did it due to underlying health issues; I have IBS, and adhering to a vegan diet has helped me tremendously. It is, in a way, therapeutic to share my journey to help others who are suffering through the same, like other writers have done for me at my lowest low.

A pending question of Autoethnography is how do we connect a narrative to the world. In a sense, I think including my own experience as well as others would revel how a vegan diet impacts individual and global health. I used veganism to help me understand Authoethonograohy; I hope I made sense.

Works Cited:

Autoethnography: An Overview Carolyn EllisTony E. Adams & Arthur P. Bochner

Whose Story Is It? An Autoethnography Concerning Narrative IdentityAlec J. Grant and Laetitia Zeeman University of Brighton, Brighton, Sussex, UK