Salah satu bentuk penelitian kualitatif yang sangat menarik, menurut saya, adalah autoethnography. Kenapa? Karena dalam penelitian ini, peneliti menggunakan dirinya sebagai satu-satunya sumber data primer dan juga ‘alat’ untuk analisis. Apa yang harus dilakukan oleh peneliti dalam autoethnography?

Autoethnography is a form of ethnographic research where a researcher relates personal experiences to wider cultural, political, and social meanings and understandings.

Di dalam autoethnography, peneliti mengaitkan pengalamannya dengan makna/pemahaman (termasuk fenomena, konsep dan teori) kultural, politis dan sosial. Peneliti melakukan analisis pengalaman pribadi dan menjelaskan pengalaman tersebut dengan konsep, teori dan studi-studi sebelumnya.  Autoethnography is a research method that uses personal experience (“auto”) to describe and interpret (“graphy”) cultural texts, experiences, beliefs, and practices (“ethno”).

Dalam perspektif autoethnographers, pengalaman pribadi adalah data primer yang dibentuk oleh nilai/norma dan ekspektasi sosial, sehingga analisis di dalam autoethnography bersifat reflektif – tindakan/analisis ini biasanya disebut sebagai “reflexivity” (Bochner & Ellis, 2006, p. 111).

Autoethnography terdiri dari 3 jenis, yaitu Evocative Autoethnography, Analytical Autoethnography, dan Critical Autoethnography. The main differences lie in their goals and orientations:
– Evocative autoethnography emphasizes emotional resonance and aesthetics, aiming to create a vivid portrayal of personal experiences.
– Analytical autoethnography delves deeper into the analysis and interpretation of experiences, focusing on uncovering patterns and meanings.
– Critical autoethnography is rooted in addressing social justice concerns, challenging power dynamics, and advocating for change by connecting personal experiences to larger societal issues.

Evocative Autoethnography
Evocative autoethnography is focused on creating a vivid and emotionally resonant representation of experiences. It involves the researcher, who is often also a practitioner, immersing themselves in a particular context, which could be related to their field of expertise or practice. The aim is to capture the essence of the experiences and interactions in a way that evokes emotional responses from the reader. This form of autoethnography emphasizes personal storytelling, phenomenological experience, and aesthetics. It often takes the form of narratives, stories, or even poetry, with the intention of conveying the richness of personal experiences.

Analytical Autoethnography
Analytical autoethnography involves a more in-depth analysis and interpretation of the collected data. Researchers who engage in this approach focus on examining the underlying reasons, patterns, and meanings behind their experiences. They take a more critical and objective stance, employing analytical frameworks to explore the data. This form of autoethnography aims to contribute to theoretical understanding and may use a more traditional third-person academic writing style. The emphasis is on analyzing and uncovering insights from the personal experiences, often integrating theoretical concepts to provide a deeper understanding.

Critical Autoethnography
Critical autoethnography is situated within a broader framework of critical qualitative inquiry and aims to address social justice issues. This approach goes beyond personal exploration and seeks to challenge power dynamics, dominant narratives, and systemic inequalities. Critical autoethnographers use their personal experiences as a way to highlight broader societal issues and advocate for social change. They engage in a critical analysis of not only their own experiences but also the broader context in which those experiences are situated. This type of autoethnography often involves addressing issues of privilege, oppression, and marginalized voices. It can incorporate polyvocality, bringing multiple perspectives into the narrative, and often takes a stance against perpetuating unjust systems.

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