Autoethnography has become legitimized through its ability to connect culture to personal experiences. This legitimization has occurred alongside a titanic shift in communication made possible by digital technology, which has rapidly transformed, multiplied, and mediated the ways through which we engage one another. This essay explores and exemplifies the necessity of autoethnography to evolve in concert with the ways our lives have become inextricably tethered to digital technology. Due to this shift, we propose that contemporary autoethnography is digital autoethnography, a method we propose that relies on personal experience(s) to foreground how meaning is made among people occupying and connected to digital spaces. Digital autoethnography is distinguishable from traditional autoethnography because the cultures analyzed are not primarily physical; they are digital. In short, the work of digital autoethnography is situated within and concerned about digital spaces and the lived experiences, interactions, and meaning-making within and beside these contexts. Embracing digital autoethnography pushes us to consider and reflect upon the ways we have changed over time with the influx of digital technology. Additionally, the method provides a framework to keep autoethnography relevant in spite of the inevitable changes to human experience that will occur as digital connectivity becomes increasingly enmeshed in our everyday lives.
Contemporary Autoethnography Is Digital Autoethnography: A Proposal for Maintaining Methodological Relevance in Changing Times
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Tasha R. Dunn, W. Benjamin Myers; Contemporary Autoethnography Is Digital Autoethnography: A Proposal for Maintaining Methodological Relevance in Changing Times. Journal of Autoethnography 7 January 2020; 1 (1): 43–59. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/joae.2020.1.1.43
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