To start off with “Autoethnography is an approach to research and writing that seeks to describe and systematically analyse personal experience in order to understand cultural experience.” (Ellis, C. 2011)
Autoethnography is both a process and a product. As a process it is a mixture of autobiography (about past experiences) and ethnography (studies of culture’s relational practices) combined. What separates it from being an autobiography is that in an autobiography other people can be involved and other journal articles and multiple sources are used to create it. An autoethnography focus’ on an individual/personal experience of a new culture or element of a culture. As a product it can come in many different forms or presentations. Like an autobiography it must be engaging to the reader and be presented in a way that makes sense.
There are so many ways Autoethnography “The forms of autoethnography differ in how much emphasis is placed on the study of others, the researcher’s self and interaction with others, traditional analysis, and the interview context, as well as on power relationships.” (Ellis, C. 2011) Ellis perfectly explains how I understand the forms of autoethnography and how open it can be. It can come in so many different shapes and forms depending on the researcher, as well as the topic being researched.
Here is a great video of an overview of autoethnography from a researcher perspective.
To me autoethnography is all about reflecting on a new experience and drawing on your own thoughts and opinions rather than reaching out for other peoples, which makes it stand out from other research techniques.
Ellis, Carolyn; Adams, Tony E. & Bochner, Arthur P. 2010, ‘Autoethnography: An Overview’, Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social Research, Vol 12, http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs1101108.