Using Vignettes Within Autoethnography to Explore Layers of Cross-Cultural Awareness as a Teacher

Jayne Pitard


With this article I aim to progress the use of vignettes within autoethnography by explaining the conceptual framework for my structured vignette analysis. In researching my role as a teacher of a group of Timor-Leste vocational education professionals I have undertaken a phenomenological study using autoethnography to highlight the existential shifts in my cultural understanding. I use vignettes to place myself within the social context, to explore my positionality as a researcher and to carefully self-monitor the impact of my biases, beliefs and personal experiences on the teacher-student relationship. To assist my analysis I developed a structured method for analysing each vignette to reveal layers of awareness that might otherwise remain experienced but concealed. In my analysis I describe the context, the experience told as a personal story, the emotional impact on me of this experience and my reflexivity to the described experience. I identify strategies I developed resulting from the impact the experience had on my interactions with my students. This structured vignette analysis reinforces the necessity of all these research elements within autoethnographic writing. I provide an example to highlight the usefulness of this method.



autoethnography; phenomenology; vignette; structured vignette analysis; reflexivity; cultural understanding

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Copyright (c) 2015 Jayne Pitard

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