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Handbook of Design in Educational Technology by Niall Winters, Joshua Underwood, Barbara L Grabowski, Peter Goodyear, Sadhana Puntambekar, Rosemary Luckin

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18 Going Native

Autoethnography as a Design Tool

Margot Duncan

1 Why Go Native?—Reasons for Using Autoethnography

Autoethnography is a 21st-century research methodology that has evolved from much earlier ethnographic practices. In the early 1900s, British social scientists, fascinated by exotic cultures, would travel to distant lands to observe ‘the natives’. They would collect artefacts and make observations which they recorded in journals to create stories, or ethnographies, of how other people lived. Over time, scientists became increasingly aware of how their presence in a foreign culture might influence the events that unfolded, potentially changing people’s behaviour and altering the stories they were told. They realised that they were ...

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