Autoethnography is the expansion of research, involving personal and interpersonal experiences. It allows researchers to take a different approach and open up their minds to investigation and storytelling on another level. Writing based on experiences, only some will understand but Its only right I compare it to Drake, the biggest hip hop and R&B artist of the decade. “I made a career of reminiscing” is just one of his famous lines from his song “U with Me” In all of Drake’s songs he writes about his different experiences with women, work, family and friends, traveling and so on. To me, Drake has to be considered some sort of autobiographer. Especially how he brings listeners into the scenes, by painting pictures with his lyrics.
Immediately once reading the definition of Autoethnography I knew this would be right up my alley. I will assume it is because of my natural curiosity and interest on how people live, why they are the way that they are, and how their upbringing can affect their perspective on life. Anytime I think about doing any type of research the first thing that comes to my mind is the study of people and their cultural experiences. There is a romance reality show on Netflix called ‘Indian Matchmaking’ that caught my attention because of the cultural traditions of how these Indian families formulate their offspring’s future family. An entire process of hiring a professional match maker, and having the families hand pick their child’s future spouse, based on very specific personal, and professional traits. Even though I am already a sucker for reality shows I enjoyed that this sort of match making is thousands of years of tradition that I only found out about while watching this docuseries.
I have to be honest, my first few thoughts about conducting scholarly research have always been about facts, and numbers. I do enjoy facts, but numbers not so much. Where do we get these facts from? Actual researchers, who either get the facts from trusted sources, or they conduct their own type of research. I will play devils advocate when expressing my doubt on trusting this hypothetical researcher who has claimed to find out all these facts himself. I guess you can say I am more of a well let me find this out for myself, ask my own questions and get my own answers. Obviously depending on the research topic this may not always be a possible solution. I can say with confidence this is mostly why I resonate with this next piece I read. “ Many of these scholars turned to autoethnography because they were seeking a positive response to critiques of canonical ideas about what research is and how research should be done. In particular, they wanted to concentrate on ways of producing meaningful, accessible, and evocative research grounded in personal experience, research that would sensitize readers to issues of identity politics, to experiences shrouded in silence, and to forms of representation that deepen our capacity to empathize with people who are different from us ( Ellis & Bochner 2000) In my own personal opinion this is the best type of research, not only are you getting your information straight from the source ( you, the researcher) but this particular type of research allows you to see different walks of life through the lens of others. I thought about this TEDx talk called “Can a children’s book change the world.”https://youtu.be/40xz0afCjnM Hosted by Sue Park, her biggest message that I took from this was her thoughts on why we read and how it is connecting us to developing empathy. I have always been a huge fan of reading for entertainment but after listening to her I realized reading is so much more important when it comes to learning about other people and their cultures. This is very similar to how I connect with autoethnography as well as ethnography.
The only question that I would have would be who would be the determining factor of the authenticity of this type of research? If we are taking the narrative approach is there some sort of guideline for the credible messengers that will be delivering these stories? Or would this type of research be questioned ?