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Intro & Overview
Case Studies
Review Questions

Section 6


Introduction & Overview

Good autoethnography does not stay within its own story, it creates a template for others.

     It moves from individual (private) to social (political).
Day 1 - Clip 1: What is autoethnography?
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The purpose or goal of autoethnography is to reframe the nature of what education is or could be.

Autoethnography does not offer "prediction and control," but it does enable "possible-izing" (envisioning possibilities).

Day 1 - Clip 2: Dr. B.K. Alexander defines "critical reflexivity" and describes his own ways of "coming to know."
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Autoethnography is not meant to supplant other forms of research.

     It works quite well when used in conjunction with a Narrative research design, for example.
Day 1 - Clip 3: Dr. B.K. Alexander explains "Why autoethnography?"
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Although research methods such as narrative, oral history, and ethnography use "the story" as part of their research, in autoethnography "the story" is actually about the writer/researcher.

One difference between ethnography and autoethnography is that the former focuses on the writing of a culture or group, whereas the later focuses on the writer/researcher.
Day 1 - Clip 4: Dr. B.K. Alexander describes the action component of autoethnography.
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Qualities of "Effective" Autoethnography                                                                (Spry, 2001)

     Good autoethnography must be emotionally engaging.
     Good autoethnography strives to use relational language and styles to create purposeful dialogue between the reader and the author.
     This dialogue processes through close, personal identification - and recognition of difference - or reader's experiences, thoughts, and emotions with those of the author.
     Good autoethnography is not just a confessional tale of self-renewal; it is a provocative weave of story and theory.
     The researcher and text must make a persuasive argument, tell a good story, be a convincing "I witness."
     A reader of autoethnographic texts must be moved emotionally and critically.
     Autoethnography is a felt-text that does not occur without rhetorical and literary discipline, as well as the courage needed to be vulnerable in rendering scholarship.


Case Studies/Illustrations

Day 2 - Clip 1: Dr. B.K. Alexander describes his own dissertation.
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(auto) ethnography

      critical sense-making (of stories) for self and others


critical reflexivity

      looking at the self 'looking at the self' looking


References & Resources

Alexander, B. K. (2006). Autoethnography.  Tampa: University of South Florida.
Spry, T. (2001).  Performing autoethnography: An embodied methodological praxis.   Qualitative Inquiry, 7(6), 706-732.


(next page) Home Page Oral History Ethnography Narrative Action Research
Autoethnography Case Study Grounded Theory Phenomenological Method

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