In my previous blog post, which you can read here, I researched the MAMA Music Awards 2018 event in Hong Kong through the autoethnographic methodology. I became a participant observer by watching the content directly and recording my ‘epiphanies’. I also engaged with a field of data on Twitter, which gave me greater insight into the way my cultural context influenced my epiphanies, and greater understanding of the cultural influence of MAMA Music Awards in Asia and globally.
In analysing my own research, I think it would have given more depth to my analysis if I had reflexively analysed the process behind my research in regards to identity politics – ultimately giving the reader greater insight into why I think why I do.
According to Ellis et al. (2011), the basis of autoethnography is grounded in ways to produce meaningful, accessible, and evocative research grounded in personal experience that would sensitize readers to issues of identity politics. This enables further empathising with those who are different from us.
As a white, Indigenous, female, Australian these elements of my identity shape the way I perceive the cultural field and the way I experience epiphanies. Ultimately, declaring these facets that underpin my value-centered research provides more context for the reader to understand the research.
“The disclosure of the researcher’s position in relation to the data is vital” (Pitard, 2017).
In terms of methodolody, Ethnographers become participant observers in the culture, as well as analyse their own and others’ engagement with these happenings.
Exploring the realm of Twitter as a field site in my previous blog gave me insight into the way others engage with MAMA. It allowed me to compare my epiphanies with extended conversation in the public sphere, providing a reflexive insight into the politcal and cultural context of my epiphany and how it is experienced across cultures.
In addition to telling experiences, an essental part of autoethnography requires looking at experiences analytically (Ellis et al. 2011). As Allen (2006) states:
“Why is your story more valid than anyone else’s? What makes your story more valid is that you are a researcher. You have a set of theoretical and methodological tools and a research literature to use. That’s your advantage. If you can’t frame it around these tools and literature and just frame it as ‘my story,’ then why or how should I privilege your story over anyone else’s I see 25 times a day on TV?”
Investigating into twitter and viewing further material helped me delve into viewing my research from an analytical viewpoint. Finding an American source that called the MAMA Awards ‘a Kpop promotion machine’, provided a potential cultural and politcal influence that presents reasons why I saw a dominant relationship between Kpop and the broader Asian community.