Thursday, February 24, 2011

Research: Autoethnographies

Question: How does an autoethnography differ from an autobiography?

Answer: “In contrast to autobiographies, which focus on the unique qualities of individuals, autoethnographies compel authors to foreground their experiences in relation to a larger social group…. The etymology of each root word reveals important differences: auto(self)-bio (life)-graphy (writing) means to write about your individual life, often in much greater detail than your context, whereas an auto (self)-ethno (culture)-graphy (writing) means to write about yourself necessarily as a member of a larger social group.” P. 183.

Comment: The purpose of an autoethnography is for students to understand themselves in the context of their culture. They see themselves as part of a larger social group. Having defined what the author means in contrast to an autobiography, I’ll stop there and let the reader discover a purpose for the activity. RayS.

“Starting with Self: Teaching Autoethnography to Foster Critically Caring Literacies.” Patrick Camangian. Research in the Teaching of English (November 2010), pp. 179-204.

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