Author: danasaid

Am I an Ethnographer?

Autoethnography is a term I have only become familiar through the duration of DIGC330. According to the prescribed reading, ‘Autoethnography: An Overview’, is described as a phenomena that seeks to systematically analyses personal experience to understand cultural experience (Ellis, C., Adams, T.E., and Bochner, A.P. 2011). There are reflexive elements to this including how we understand our internal emotions and interpretive meanings produces by personal engagements with the culture. This is a documented personal experience and interaction that makes us consider political, social and cultural meanings; but then it is how we make sense of it. This direct personal engagement is then documented and understood by the way we enact the world and can be presented through articles, videos, blog posts or even tweets. As a reader to an Autoethnography document, this gives insight towards the writers personal experience which is most definitely different from your own, but encompasses elements that they could have found genuine, confronting or disconcerting which would vary from individual to individual. The article discusses this is terms of an “in depth and intimate understanding of peoples experiences with emotionally charged and sensitive topics”  (Ellis, Kiesinger & Tillmann-Healy, 1997, p.121).

On a personal note, I gave my autoethnographic perspective on last week’s Screen and discussion through ‘tweets’ documenting my experience. The viewing was ‘State of Play (2013)’ a documentary about South Korean professional video gamers. E-sports is something I am familiar with, however I had never involved myself with the world of Korean e-sports so I took to twitter to give my subjective understanding from my personal cultural framework.

At first I posted a video of my familiarity with e-sports as it is not something, and how the team introductions are something I find interesting.

t2

Then a quote from the documentary which I can only presume through translation and different cultural force behind words, that this ended up being quite humorous for me, being an Australian, you would most likely never hear something say a quote like this.

t1

There are some critiques for authoethnography as outlined in the text. There are concerns for validity and credibility of the autoethnographer and if their giving their actual experience and using factual evidence. This in turn has an effect on the audience as experiences of the reader’s subjective viewpoint and the world they are exploring do not match up (Ellis, C., Adams, T.E., and Bochner, A.P. 2011). So you need to question, is this an authentic response I am reading? But we do need to remember that they are just subjective viewpoints in a world of methodological viewpoints that are not accurate scientific data, but rather personal encounters with the exploration of a different culture. Maybe I was being culturally insensitive with my tweets? E-sports are taken very seriously in Korea and it was something I was making a joke of. Or maybe I just have a different perspective to you due to my different cultural context.

Refrences

Ellis, Carolyn; Kiesinger, Christine E. & Tillmann-Healy, Lisa M. 1997. Interactive interviewing: Talking about emotional experience. In Rosanna Hertz Ed., Reflexivity and voice (pp.119-149). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Ellis, C., Adams, T.E., and Bochner, A.P. 2011 ‘Autoethnography: An Overview‘, Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 12:1, viewed 10th August 2017, http://www.qualitative-research.net/index.php/fqs/article/view/1589/3095

First Hand Look at Godzilla

In my autoethnographic look at Gojira, let’s just say I had an interesting experience in viewing film. I had never seen the film before, let alone any Godzilla movie in the franchise, and to my pleasant surprise, I actually enjoyed it. I do not have a lot of experience with watching foreign films, just a few Studio Ghibli movies which isn’t something that is completely unusual as they are quite popular. The film started out for me, almost a bit humorous, in the way that it is edited, the acting, sound effects, long silences and Godzilla himself which could be a mixture of technologies available during production in 1954, and the different cultural background that I am used to. For me personally, the only television I could related this too was Doctor who in the quirky editing and the sci-fi genre.

The actual motive itself I thought was very well done in a way that contemporary movies in this genre solely focus on special effects but this movie has a strong story line. Love was a theme whether it was family love or romantic, relationships built, then there was a detailed  look at a way of stopping Godzilla through a young scientist Serizawa and his ‘Oxygen Destroyer’. But not only was the story line good, it draws on important themes arising from Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the terror in Japan during the final stages of World War 2 which I did not know about prior to this. I thought I would have known everything about this movie from references to Godzilla in scenes from my childhood such as the television show Rugrats with ‘Reptar’. The film definitely surprised me to the depth and complexity of issues explore and how Godzilla is a Metaphor to the bombings and the terror and destruction caused is exactly what happened during the bombings in which you felt sympathy for the citizens and an emotional engagement.

Image of Hiroshima and Image of Godzilla

(Images sourced from atomcentral.com/hiroshima-nagasaki.aspx  and  godzilla.wikia.com/wiki/File:Gojira_1954_-_4.jpg )

Another important part of the film was the character Emika, she played a very important role as both a protagonist in the film but also her characters role as a head figure that makes decisions and is able to fight for what she believes. She was the person who was trusted enough to be told about the ’Oxygen Destroyer’ and then passed on that useful information. I definitely think with scenes like that, this shows the movie was so advanced and ahead of its time, with women having the opportunity to speak for themselves and have a say which may not have actually been apparent in society. The role of women and the symbolism of was  proves how powerful this movie was. I genuinely enjoyed the film and would be interested to now see how a modern interpretation is presented.

Dana