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Analytical Auto Ethnography

Gouri S Dev. Feb 26, 2024

The Department of Communication and Media Studies at Bharathiar University hosted a one-day interactive workshop on research methods with DR. Peruvemba S. Jaya, Associate Professor of Communication at the University of Ottawa, Canada on February 26, 2024,. In the esteemed presence of the Department’s previous head, DR. P. E. Thomas, as well as other departmental faculties.

DR. Shrihari.M Associate professor and Head of the Communication Department, greeted the resource person.  During the one-day interaction session, which was attended by academics from PSGCAS and the University’s communication research department, DR. Jaya presented a novel methodological approach to qualitative research called “auto ethnography.” As the name implies, auto ethnography makes use of the individual story to comprehend and go deeper into a study subject. This specific approach uses first-person narratives based on personal experiences to discuss social issues from a broader angle. This methodology uses self-reflexivity as the major aspect to understand the intersections between the self and society in particular and general. Auto ethnography is also termed as ‘insider ethnography’ where the study of a cultural group is done in which the researcher himself is a member. The notable difference between ethnography and auto ethnography relies on the researcher’s narrative rather than focusing on the empirical form of research. In simple terms, auto ethnography combines both autobiography and ethnography. Dr. Jaya distinguished between two types of auto ethnography: analytical and evocative where she goes with the analytical type since it allows her to relate her experience to a more significant problem.

 Dr. Peruvemba Jaya, a specialist in organizational behavior and international management, obtained her Ph.D. in business administration from the University of Rhode Island, USA. She used the concept of analytical auto-ethnography in her publications on the challenges faced by immigrant women in Canada. She also discussed a few terminologies that are exclusive to Western nations, such as BIPOC (Black Indigenous People of Color), transnational feminism, post-colonial feminism, and women of color. She also talked about the micro aggressions she had encountered while trying to find work in Canada. The discussion on “Musings and Reflections on Auto Ethnography: A Methodology of Choice” was insightful, and the researchers were able to clarify some of their questions and come away with a deeper understanding of the approach. DR. Jaya engaged the scholars in conversation, asked about their areas of interest, and expressed gratitude for their efforts to raise interesting research topics. 

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