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My quick thoughts, back stage, and rants as I try to Teach kids about the Web while learning how to help others build a better Web.

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Greg McVerry

@telliowkuwp Been writing on this a bunch as I try to define agentive apprenticships from an innovation system lens: http://longthoughts.jgregorymcverry.com/doku.php currently trying an autoethnography: http://longthoughts.jgregorymcverry.com/doku.php?id=autoethnography

Greg McVerry

Made some progress on my autoethnography this morning: longthoughts.jgregorymcverry.com/doku.php?id=autoethnography trying to define agentive apprenticeship through the spaces I study and then also by reflecting on the past

Greg McVerry

Greg McVerry

Organizing autoethnography on the Internet

Doing ethnographic research on the internet “transfers the ethnographic tradition of the researcher as an embodied research instrument to the social spaces of Internet” (Hine, 2008, p. 257, as cited in Airoldi, 2018)

The thick description of an autoethnography often aims to make connections with broader themes and connect the micro personal experience with the macro (Holman Jones, 2019; Wall, 2016).

however, some things also disappear. For ex-ample, if an online space closes down completely and does not get archived, that information is lost forever (Herrmann, 2016).

More of the reason to do an autoethonography from your own site. It is how you ensure artifacts do not disappear. Almost all of my early web teaching artifacts are gone. Walkmyworld relied on Storify and Mozilla webmaker apps. Both are gone, everything 4042.

Another tip: send any artifact to the Internet Archive Wayback Machine.

Furthermore, many online interactions may be inaccessible to researchers because they occur in private, publicly without a hashtag, and on other plat-forms such as Facebook groups.

I think this might change whether you are presently conducting data collection or looking back on your web interactions (as I am) for an autoethnography. I can describe my data sources well. I am also better protected from link rot because I hang and learn in spaces with a commitment to data ownership.

Maha opens with a description of autoethnography. I wonder if the methods still need the justification. This is a common feature in qualitative research, trying to prove your methods matter. Maybe I might just state it matter of factly. Not sure.

The next section then goes into a description of the space and person Maha is and built

Need to read: Baym, N. K., & Markham, A. (2009) Internet inquiry: Dialogue among scholars (pp. vii–xix). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

When I got into Collectivist Massive Open Online Courses (cMOOCs) and started developing my own Personal Learning Network (PLN), online learning became central to my life not just my lifelong learning. I built relationships online and took them deep into collaborations and friendships

Maha does a nice job storytelling her subjectivity statement. I think what I will do is date range my autoethnography but then state

I believed an autoethnography offered the benefits of allowing us to dig deeper into our own self-reflections as participants, bringing out the invisible thinking behind our public interactions.

There are two other reasons why I prefer autoethnography over other research approaches. One is that there are certain experiences, such as the experience of participating in a cMOOC, that are di%cult to understand from an abstract perspective

Maha then went and used narrative frames and a reflection after each one. Based on work in Ellis, C. (2004). The ethnographic I: A methodological novel about autoethnography. Lanham, MD: Rowman Altamira. I should check this out.

Greg McVerry

Autoethnography: an overview

Autoethnography is an approach to research and writing that seeks to describe and systematically analyze (graphy) personal experience (auto) in order to understand cultural experience (ethno) (Ellis, 2004; Holman Jones, 2005). This approach challenges canonical ways of doing research and representing others (Spry, 2001) and treats research as a political, socially-just and socially-con-scious act (Adams & Holman Jones, 2008).

they wanted to concentrate on ways of producing meaningful, accessible, and evocative research grounded in personal experience, research that would sensitize readers to issues of iden-tity politics, to experiences shrouded in silence, and to forms of representation that deepen our capacity to empathize with people who are different from us (Ellis & Bochner, 2000).

Furthermore, scholars began recognizing that different kinds of people pos-sess different assumptions about the world – a multitude of ways of speaking, writing, valuing and believing – and that conventional ways of doing and think-ing about research were narrow, limiting, and parochial.

those who advocate and insist on canonical forms of doing and writ-ing research are advocating a White, masculine, heterosexual, middle/upper-classed, Christian, able-bodied perspective.

As a method, autoethnography combines characteristics of autobiography and ethnography.

autobiographers write about “epiphanies” – remembered mo-ments perceived to have significantly impacted the trajectory of a person’s life (Bochner & Ellis, 1992; Couser, 1997; Denzin, 1989), times of existential crises that forced a person to attend to and analyze lived experience (Zaner, 2004), and events after which life does not seem quite the same.

Hmmm I am doing mine on learning to explore the emerging heurstic of agentive apprenticeship as a definition of learning in networked spaces.

When researchers do ethnography, they study a culture’s relational prac-tices, common values and beliefs, and shared experiences for the purpose of helping insiders (cultural members) and outsiders (cultural strangers) better

When researchers do autoethnography, they retrospectively and selectively write about epiphanies that stem from, or are made possible by, being part of a culture and/or by possessing a particular cultural identity.

An autobiography should be aesthetic and evocative, engage readers, and use conventions of storytelling such as character, scene, and plot development (Ellis & Ellingson, 2000), and/or chronological or fragmented story progression (Didion, 2005; Frank, 1995).

When researchers write ethnographies, they produce a “thick description” of a culture (Geertz, 1973, p. 10; Goodall, 2001).

When researchers write autoethnographies, they seek to produce aesthetic and evocative thick descriptions of personal and interpersonal experience.

Thus, the autoethnographer not only tries to make personal experience meaningful and cultural experience engaging, but also, by producing accessible texts, she or he may be able to reach wider and more diverse mass audiences that traditional research usually disregards

Narrative ethnographies refer to texts presented in the form of stories that incorporate the ethnographer’s experiences into the ethnographic descriptions and analysis of others

Reflexive ethnographies document ways a researcher changes as a result of doing fieldwork. Reflexive/narrative ethnographies exist on a continuum rang-ing from starting research from the ethnographer’s biography, to the ethnogra-pher studying her or his life alongside cultural members’ lives, to ethnographic memoirs

But unlike grounded theory, layered accounts use vignettes, reflexivity, multiple voices, and introspection (Ellis, 1991) to “invoke” readers to enter into the “emergent experience” of doing and writing research (Ronai, 1992, p. 123), conceive of identity as an “emergent process” (Rambo, 2005, p. 583)

Community autoethnographies thus not only facilitate “community-building” research practices but also make opportunities for “cultural and social intervention” possible (p. 59; see Karofff & Schönberger, 2010)

Writing is a way of knowing, a method of inquiry (Richardson, 2000). Conse-quently, writing personal stories can be therapeutic for authors as we write to make sense of ourselves and our experiences (Kiesinger, 2002; Poulos, 2008), purge our burdens (Atkinson, 2007), and question canonical stories – conven-tional, authoritative, and “projective” storylines that “plot” how “ideal social selves” should live (Tololyan, 1987, p. 218; Bochner, 2001, 2002).

These “relational ethics” are heightened for autoethnographers (Ellis, 2007). In using personal experience, autoethnographers not only implicate themselves with their work, but also close, intimate others (Adams, 2006; Etherington, 2007; Trahar, 2009).

Furthermore, autoethnographers often maintain and value interpersonal ties with their participants, thus making relational ethics more complicated. Partici-pants often begin as or become friends through the research process.

For an autoethnographer, questions of reliability refer to the narrator’s credibility. Could the narrator have had the experiences described, given avail-able “factual evidence”?

For autoethnographers, validity means that a work seeks verisimilitude; it evokes in readers a feeling that the experience described is lifelike, believable, and possible, a feeling that what has been represented could be true. The story is coherent. It connects readers to writers and provides continuity in their lives.

In autoethnography, the focus of generalizabil-ity moves from respondents to readers, and is always being tested by readers as they determine if a story speaks to them about their experience or about the lives of others they know;

Greg McVerry

Greg McVerry

An Autoethnography on Learning About Autoethnography

I can write this down now. It has been swirling around in my head for a month, the readings mixing with my thoughts and reactions, but I did not know just how to put it down on paper. So much of what I want to say about autoethnography is about me, not it.

Okay maybe I am on the write track. I kinda wanna lose the traditional research headings. Gonna keep them for planning so the semantic sturcutre lies beneath and through whatever blanket of truth I weave.

reflexivity and voice, various vague approaches to autobiographical inquiry, validity and acceptability, defences and criticisms, and a wide range of published personal narratives, the typical product of autoethnography.

keeping with the essence of autoethnography, I finally came to the realization that I could share my experience of learning about autoethnography and, in the text, co-mingle me and it.

Philosophical and theoretical foundations for autobiographical methods

Think we can skip the whole positvist and post modern debate.

feminist researchers “emphasize the subjective, empathetic, process-oriented, and inclusive sides of social life” (Neuman, 1994, p. 72).

Stivers (1993) has stated that a vision of universal truth is really just a dream of power over others and that liberatory, emancipatory projects are better served by alternative knowledge production process.

Taking the question of voice and representation a step further, we could argue that an individual is best situated to describe his or her own experience more accurately than anyone else

The potential power of autoethnography to address unanswered questions and include the new and unique ideas of the researcher is inspiring to me as one who wishes to find my niche and make my own special contribution.

They noted, however, that the term autoethnography has been in use for more than 20 years (originated by Hayano, 1979) and has become the term of choice in describing studies of a personal nature (Ellis, 2004;Ellis & Bochner, 2000).

The basic design of a heuristic research project involves six steps: initial engagement, immersion, incubation, illumination, explication, and culmination in a creative synthesis (Moustakas, 1990)

Although these phases, as described by Moustakas (1990), strike me as quite idealistic and abstract, they do set the tone for a very nontraditional form of study that “engages one‟s total self and evokes a personal and passionate involvement and active participation in the [research] process” (p. 42).

autobiographical research methods have become increasingly known as “autoethnography” and have been promoted, influenced, and developed by Ellis and Bochner (1999, 2000).

Muncey (2005) added some concrete assistance to the question of “how to do” autoethnography. She suggested the use of snapshots, artifacts/documents, metaphor, and psychological and literal journeys as techniques for reflecting on and conveying a “patchwork of feelings, experiences, emotions, and behaviors that portray a more complete view of . . . life” (p. 10).

A third widely discussed approach to the researcher‟s use of self is personal narrative. Personal narrative is often presented as a typical product of autoethnography but is also proposed as a method unto itself.

Autoethnographers tend to vary in their emphasis on auto- (self), -ethno- (the cultural link), and -graphy (the application of a research process) (Ellis & Bochner, 2000, paraphrasing Reed- Danahay, 1997).

Holt (2001) published an autoethnography that is similar in approach to Sparkes‟s (1996), although it deals with a very different topic. Holt told his story about becoming a graduate teaching assistant in a university and using a three-level reflection strategy to refine his teaching methods.

Duncan, autoethnography was a method of inquiry in which the inner dialogue of the researcher was considered valid, that encouraged systematic reflection, offered an organized and traceable means of data analysis and resulted in a scholarly account (p. 3). Rigor in the research process (“-graphy”)

On the other end of the continuum are a number of examples of personal narrative that rely almost exclusively on a highly personal, evocative writing style, focusing on the auto-, omitting any reference to research conventions, and leaving the reader to make his or her own societal or cultural applications. An essay called “A Choice for K‟aila” (Paulette, 1993) is a mother‟s story about her decision not to permit her infant son, with terminal liver disease, to have a liver transplant.

Despite their wide-ranging characteristics, autoethnographic writings all begin with the researcher‟s use of the subjective self. By using self as a source of data, perhaps the only source, autoethnography has been criticized for being self-indulgent, narcissistic, introspective, and individualized (Atkinson, 1997; Sparkes, 2000).

Greg McVerry

Learning Autoethnography: A Review of Autoethnography: Understanding Qualitative Research

book review

In Autoethnography: Understanding Qualitative Research, authors Tony E. Adams, Stacy Jones, and Carolyn Ellis explain how autoethnographic research “enable us to live and to live better” and argue that “stories allow us to lead more reflective, more meaningful, and more just lives” (p. 1).

Accordingly, autobiographical and autoethnographical studies elicit little support in certain academic circles. However, since the 1970s, some researchers have begun to challenge the status quo by utilizing personal narratives as a rich primary source to inform a study (Chang, 2008).

Unlike other Social Science disciplines (history, anthropology, etc.) which promotes the detachment of the researcher from the participants or subjects under study, either by time or the notion that personal immersion into the field would violate the integrity of the study, autoethnographers begin by examining one’s personal views or beliefs on a particular subject.

The authors correctly assert that an autoethnographer must be careful not to become so identified by a particular field of inquiry that they will become “typecast” into an academic genre.

Greg McVerry

Greg McVerry

CLMOOC

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