What is Autoethnography?

Critical autoethnography briefly


Researchers are usually familiar with the term “ethnography”, which is a research approach that examines culture through being there. Ethnographers typically embed themselves in settings and observe what is going on. They get to know participants over extended periods of time, use interviews to understand participants’ perspectives about their lives and cultures, and perhaps collect and analyze archival data and artifacts.  Some researches make use of video and still images as well. Anthropologists (Geertz, 1973, 2000), sociologists (Desmond, 2016; Duneier, 1999; Goffman, 2014), and researchers across disciplines (Ho, 2009; Pollock, 2004; Whyte, 1993 [1943]) have used ethnography as an approach to examine numerous cultural contexts. So what then, is autoethnography?

Autoethnography is typically defined as an approach to research that puts the self at the center of cultural analysis. Chang (2008) asserts that autoethnography “transcends mere narration of self to engage in cultural analysis and interpretation” (p. 43). She…

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The home: a complex location for doctoral carers

Caring for the carer candidate

A community blog, on doctoral supervision relationships and pedagogies

This is a guest post by Dr James Burford (@jiaburford), Lecturer at La Trobe University, and Co-Founder of the Conference Inference blog, which discusses the role and meaning of academic conferences. In this post James argues that space and care responsibilities are important factors that shape the conditions for doctoral education and discusses the role supervisors can play in supporting their supervisees no matter their spatial and care arrangements.

A kitchen space showing washed up dishes

Across the COVID-19 pandemic many doctoral researchers transitioned to working from home. As university campuses emptied of much human activity, home spaces often became noisier and more hectic. This was especially true for households where multiple people needed to be online working or learning at once. As a research educator working primarily with graduate researcher cohorts, I witnessed this transition from the vantage point of my zoom square. Colleagues beamed in from spare rooms, kitchen tables, bedrooms, garages, backyards…

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