chapter  3
Why me? Reflections on using the self in and as research
ByCheryl Hunt
Pages 16

This chapter illustrates the personal and social value of autoethnographic research. It focuses on the place and function of autoethnography in education, particularly in doctoral programmes and educational research. Autoethnographic research and writing often provide stark contrast to traditional research methodologies and ways of representing data, including the relationship between the researcher and the researched. The Eleventh International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry called for expressions of interest in forming a Special Interest Group on Autoethnography. Anderson claims that qualitative sociological research has always contained an autoethnographic element. From the mid-1960's to 1970's, there was some experimentation with self-observation and analysis, but it was not until 1979 that a clear case was argued, in an essay on Auto-ethnography' by David Hyano, for self-observation in ethnographic research. The emergence of autoethnography and other forms of engaging with the self as, and in, research mirrored other signs of the times in the late 1970's and 1980's: in the field of adult/community education.