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Reading Group February 10 2011

Auto-Ethnography = Reflexivity?

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Feb 10, 2011
from 12:30 PM to 01:30 PM


Quinn Couches

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ext 4775

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Reading: Gould, S. J. (2008) An introspective genealogy of my introspective genealogy. Marketing Theory, 8, 407-424.

What is Auto-Ethnography?

It has been characterised as a research method in the critical tradition (Wall, 2008, Anderson, 2006) and would seem to have been designed to breakdown the scientific distinction between being detached and being involved. Auto-ethnography is by definition a personal story (Wall, 2008) and many papers adopt a kind of dialogic confessional reflection that the authors style auto-ethnographic (Wall, 2008, Mitra, 2010, Walford, 2004). Autoethnography has also been suggested (and used) as a method for light or quick ethnography suitable for technology requirements gathering where the research acts as the user of the technology (Cunningham and Jones, 2005).

Questions we might consider include; how can autoethnography foreground issues of partiality, representation (who is doing the representing, what is their point of view, do they have an agenda?). Is autoethnography an exclusively post-modern method or can it be employed to study more conventional settings than hereforeto included under its aegis?


  • Anderson, L. (2006) Analytic Autoethnography. Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, 35, 373-395.
  • Bryman, A. & Bell, E. (2003) Business research methods, Oxford, UK, Oxford University Press.
  • Cunningham, S. J. & Jones, M. (2005) Autoethnography: a tool for practice and education. CHINZ ‘05, Poceedings of the 6th ACM SIGCHI New Zealand chapter's international conference on Computer-human interaction: making CHI natural. Auckland, NZ, ACM.
  • Ellis, C. (2002) Being real: moving inward toward social change International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, 15, 399-406. Karra, N. & Phillips, N. (2008) Researching “Back Home” International Management Research as Autoethnography. Organizational Research Methods, 11, 541-561. * Mitra, R. (2010) Doing Ethnography, Being an Ethnographer: The Autoethnographic Research Process and I. Journal of Research Practice, 6, Article M4.
  • Walford, G. (2004) Finding the limits: autoethnography and being an Oxford University Proctor. Qualitative Research, 4, 403-417.
  • Wall, S. (2008) Easier Said than Done: Writing an Autoethnography. International Journal of Qualitative Methods, 7, 38-53.
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