2:  Autoethnography

What is a ” Autoethnography ” ?

Auto  /   ethno   /   graphy

Auto- “as a word-forming element had the sense of “self, one’s own, of oneself (‘independently’) in Greek.

ethno-” as a word-forming element meaning “race, culture,” from Greek ethnos “people, nation, class, caste, tribe; a number of people accustomed to live together” (see ethnic).

-graphy” as a word-forming element meaning “process of writing or recording” or “a writing, recording, or description” from French or German -graphie, from Greek -graphia “description of “.

The way we split the word gives us a better idea of what Autoethnography means and the emphasis of Autoethnography more clearly.

Autoethnography is an approach to research and writing that seeks to describe and systematically analyze personal experience in order to understand other cultural experience. Through the autoethnography to deconstructing and critical reflection on the issue of ethnography and life history.

Autoethnography often represented by first-person in a variety of different ways such as short story,  poetry,  personal essay,  diary, fragment,  social science essay etc. Via the personal inner of the portrayal and experience to realize how the social and cultural development affect people life.

“People shape their daily lives by stories of who they and others are and as they interpret their past in terms of these stories. Story, in the current idiom, is a portal through which a person enters the world and by which their experience of the world is interpreted and made personally meaningful.” 

from <<Narrative Inquiry: Experience and Story in Qualitative Research >> By Connelly & Clandinin, 2006, p. 375

Connelly & Clandinin proposed a concept of American pragmatist philosopher Dr. John Dewey’s theory “Experience is personal as well as social” to develop the personal experience methods.

The personal experience methods have four characteristics:

"inward and outward";

" backward and forward".

” Inward ” refers to the internal situation of emotion, hope, reaction beauty, morality, etc;
” Outward ” refers to the existence of the situation, which is what E. M. B said reality.

And the ” backward and forward” are the meaning of  the temporality, the past,  the present and the future.

The develop of nowaday have been sophisticated since people search the issue through the rules of the personal experience methods.

In summary, Autoethnography is a combination of ethnography and autobiography.The author of Autoethnography may be a scholar or a non-scholar.Starting from insiders’ point of view, incorporating the author’s personal experience into the ethnographic or autobiographical writing has given rise to a form of exploration to some issues.


Such as Sigmund Freud’s Die Traumdeutung. The book introduces the concept of self, describes Freud’s unconscious theory used to explain the dream. According to Freud, he wrote down many of his dreams to elucidate his theories and perspectives. His approach begins with the analysis of not just  many case studies from patients but also his dream experience, “Irma’s injection”.

His autoethnography inspired concepts such as “subconscious”, “self”, “self”, “super self”, “Idiopus complex”, “Libido” and “psychological defense mechanism” Proposed a variety of psychopathology theory, clinical psychology in the history of the development of great significance.

Via the personal experience and research of Sigmund Freud made us have a clear concept of the definition of Autoethnography. Theory or issue is based on personal experience and the Autoethnography is an achievement of our deconstructing and critical reflection in personal experience.

As with the design of mobile apps now, we derive data from user experience. And improve the app ‘s user friendly through the data research of user experience.


Autoethnography: An Overview Volume 12, No. 1, Art. 10 edited by Carolyn Ellis, Tony E. Adams & Arthur P. Bochner (January 2011) Retrieved from

Narrative Inquiry edited by D. Jean Clandinin & Janice Huber. (n.d.)Retrieved from http://www.mofet.macam.ac.il/amitim/iun/CollaborativeResearch/Documents/NarrativeInquiry.pdf

auto- (n.d.) Retrieved from

ethno- (n.d.) Retrieved from

-graphy (n.d.) Retrieved from

The Interpretation of Dreams Wiki(n.d.)Retrieved from

Sigmund Freud Wiki(n.d.)Retrieved from




4 thoughts on “2:  Autoethnography”

  1. Some nice quotes have chosen to clearly explain the meaning of autoethnography. And the example you have mentioned show me a new image of autoethnography. From examining a person’s dream, which mostly comes from his personal experience, and use it to present his findings. However, it will be clearer if you further raised more examples of Freud about what kind of personal experience he has included and how its content related to a society level.


    1. Sigmund Freud is a famous person of Psychology. His book “Die Traumdeutung” (Interpretation of Dreams) is a autoethnography record of human behavior research. From the autoethnography record, he found out the subconscious theory and analysis of dreams to explain it. Our behaviors, thoughts, and emotions come from unconscious fear and aspirations, usually starting with childhood experiences.Dream analysis is thought to be the excavation of unconscious psychoanalysis. This is a part of result what Sigmund Freud found out from his Autoethnography research.


  2. Etymology is the study of the origin words. Using Etymology to explain the word of “Auto ethnography” is interesting. It is easier to understand the meaning of auto ethnography. Moreover, your blog is informative and plentiful. You have provided some additional information for us, which is Sigmund Freud’s Die Traumdeutung. It is nice that you use Sigmund Freud as an example, but instead of only using famous person as an example, using your own experience would be better as own experience is more close to reality. But example of Sigmund Freud is abstract.


    1. Sigmund Freud actually is a famous person of Psychology. He is a Austrian psychologist, psychoanalyst and philosopher. His book “Die Traumdeutung” (Interpretation of Dreams) is a autoethnography record of human behavior research. It is just a simple to show you how Sigmund Freud did a research with autoethnography.

      And of course i did show you a simple example of how App designer develop a app with an approach “Autoethnography” at the end if you have no idea of Sigmund Freud did a human behavior research with autoethnography.

      In my personal experience, i was wondering why most people choose Apple iphone not Samsung as i was thinking to buy a new phone for playing online app game. I did a research to compare two different smartphone hardware online.I went to Samsung Store and Apple Store to test the functionality of a smartphone and ask my friend’s opinion. Finally, i bought my Samsung galaxy s8+ after i got the result of little research as a game lover we value big screen and easy free system features to control. This is how i do a smartphone research with an approach of “Autoethnography”.

      It is nice to share my personal experience to you. I hope it would help you to understand more about an approach “Autoethnography”.

      Liked by 1 person

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