This book is written by a competent ethnographer who has studied the role of the self in research, and the relationship of self to culture, and desires to provide that knowledge for those who want to include the self in their ethnographic research. This book will be useful for ethnographers who work from a traditional realist perspective and who want to reflect on personal experience in a systematic way. It is especially helpful for those who desire a methods cookbook to guide them. It thoroughly and insightfully covers all the steps for doing the kind of cultural analysis that includes experiences of the self that Chang advocates.”
Carolyn Ellis, Biography
"The author's writing is so clear and accessible that her first chapters could easily be used as an introduction to the entire self-narrative phenomenon. Beyond Chang's excellent overview, her specific intention is to provide a guidebook on how to conceive an construct a viable autoethnographic study, with detailed sections successively focusing on initial planning, data, collection, management, analysis, and interpretation, In the process she provides a usable bibliography, practical exercises, a schematic chart for visually organizing a self-study and a model example of an autoethnography. Useful as both an overview of a widely far-flung field and as a workbook for constructing a personal autoethnography. Highly recommended."
Heewong Chang’s Autoethnography as Method is a superb introduction to the genre for qualitative researchers. Chang foregrounds the work by eloquently describing the complex interrelationship between culture and identity, then provides intriguing ways of reflecting on and exploring one’s self through memory work, introspective analysis, and evocative writing. Chang demystifies the processes of creating autoethnography by providing readers clear guidance, rigorous expectations, and poignant examples from her own life story. This book is essential reading for both novices and seasoned researchers in the field.”
Johnny Saldaña, Arizona State University
"Richly nuanced and shedding new light on the varied and often quite fluid ways in which self and others connected to self interact, connect, and disconnect within the realm of culture, Chang’s text invites researchers to include themselves as a research focus and to consider autoethnography as a tool to explore their own perspectives and to arrive at a deeper understanding of others. Those who are willing to take the first step will find a treasure trove of writing exercises and specific strategies to choose from. The result might be a short reflection on a single topic or a book length study that interprets one’s life experiences from a cultural perspective. Autoethnography not only offers a way to make sense of one’s own life, but it also has the potential to illuminate key themes and common understandings that can lead to a deeper appreciation of the diversity and complexity of human interaction."
-Carol Kennett, International Journal of Multicultural Education
In keeping with the broad view of autoethnography espoused in the book, Chang provides a brief description of a wide variety of data collection techniques, including strategies for collecting personal memories, conducting self-observation, and gathering external’ data (such as interviews and textual artifacts). The methods chapters cover a lot of ground, blending strategies for autobiographical recall and reflection with more traditional qualitative social science methods. One relatively unique feature of this book is a set of writing assignments’ included in the methods chapters, designed to facilitate the collection of self-data and self reflectionand supplemented by nearly 50 pages of appended examples at the end of the book.”
Leon Anderson, Qualitative Research
About the Author
Heewon Chang is Associate Professor of Education at Eastern University. Trained as an educational anthropologist, she has conducted ethnographic studies of adolescents in the United States and Korea, one of which was published in Adolescent Life and Ethos: An Ethnography of a US High School. Her other research interests include autoethnography, multicultural education, cultural identity, and gender issues. She founded, and serves as Editor-in-Chief of, two open-access online journals, Electronic Magazine of Multicultural Education and International Journal of Multicultural Education.