synthesizes both a postmodern ethnography, in which the realist conventions and objective observer position of standard ethnography have been called into question, and a postmodern autobiography, in which the notion of the coherent, individual self has been similarly called into question. The term has a double sense - referring either to the ethnography of one's own group or to autobiographical writing that has ethnographic interest. Thus, either a self (auto) ethnography or an autobiographical (auto) ethnography can be signaled by "autoethnography".
(Communication as Autoethnography, p. 110-122)
Autoethnography, as described by Authur Bochner and Carolyn Ellis shows “…people in the process of figuring out what to do, how to live, and the meaning of their struggles”
(Communication as Autoethnography, p. 111)
(Bochner, Authur P. and Carolyn S. Ellis, Communication as Autoethnography. Communication as… Perspectives on Theory. Eds.Gregory J. Sheperd, Jeffrey St.John, Ted Striphas. Thousand Oakes, CA: Sage, 2006.)
As Carolyn Ellis describes it, autoethnography uses the conventions of literary writing: research, writing, story, and method that connect the autobiographical and personal to the cultural, social, and political. Autoethnographic forms feature concrete action, emotion, embodiment, self-consciousness, and introspection portrayed in dialogue, scenes, characterization, and plot. Thus, autoethnography claims the conventions of literary writing.
Sondra Perl and Mimi Schwartz, authors of Writing True: The Art and Craft of Creative Nonfiction, state that research (family sources, notebooks and journals, interviews, surveys, printed media, the internet, and personal experience) has a central role in creative nonfiction (143 & 155-159).
"In departing from the traditional stance taken by anthropologists, who study 'others' ethnographically, this timely book (Auto/Ethnography: Rewriting the Self and the Social) explores forms of self-inscription on the part of both the ethnographer and those 'others' who are studied. Informed by developments in postmodernism, postcolonialism, and feminism, this is an original contribution to the growing dialogue across disciplinary boundaries. The chapters build upon recent reconsiderations of the uses and meaning of personal narrative to examine the ways in which selves and social forms are culturally constituted through biographical genres. Ethnic autobiography, self-reflexivity in ethnography, and native ethnography raise provocative questions about a range of issues for the contemporary scholar: authenticity of voice; ethnographic authority; and the degree to which autoethnography constitutes resistance to hegemonic bodies of discourse. Examined here in a variety of cultural and political contexts, writing about the self offers challenging insights into the construction and transformation of identities and cultural meanings." (text from amazon)
all of the orange words are words that really arouse me. i never figured that so many videos on youtube, blogs and literature i read are autoethnographic. but they are.
autoethnography, i like you.