“Heartful Autoethnography”

“Heartful Autoethnography” by Carolyn Ellis (1999) reminds me a lot of myself.  Last year at my undergraduate institution, we had to complete a research course for a graduation requirement.  When determining what kind of study my group members and I would like to complete, autoethnography came up.  Each of us had very different experiences during our freshmen year of college.  I had a terrible experience, one of my partners had the best experience, and the other partner had a nontraditional experience.  We toyed with the idea of dissecting our own experiences, on top of collecting other students’ stories as well.  Unfortunately we did not have time to complete the actual study; the purpose of the class was to set up the research study, not to actually do it.  I think that study would have been extremely interesting.  I also think the study from “Heartful Autoethnography” would be extremely interesting as well.  I personally know women who have had breast cancer and have difficult times adjusting back to “healthy” living.  

The point that I am trying to make within all of this is, there is a reason we conduct this type of research.  A lot of people think of research as only numbers and science.  They do not consider emotions to be scientific.   By implementing these types of research we can work to combat those feelings and show the scientific community that this type of research has value.

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