Autophenomenography? Alternative uses of autographically based research

Year: 2004

Author: Gruppetta, Maree

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

There has been an increase in autobiographical based research techniques recently, particularly those involving personal narratives. Autoethnography is usually the term of choice for studies connecting the personal to the cultural (Ellis & Bochner, 2000). However, other forms of autobiographical research are open to investigation. For instance, if one were to study a phenomenon rather than a 'cultural place' it would be autophenomenographical rather than autoethnographical. The use of the author as subject establishes researcher bias unequivocally. The author as first participant in a study becomes not only the key informant of their own experience but also extends empathy to the experiences of the other participants, increasing the in-depth nature of the study. This paper examines alternative uses of autobiographical study, passing beyond the basic necessity of establishing a researcher's bias.