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The International Encyclopedia of Media Studies, 7 Volume Set by Fabienne Darling-Wolf, Radhika Parameswaran, Erica Scharrer, Vicki Mayer, Sharon Mazzarella, Kelly Gates, John Nerone, Angharad N. Valdivia

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9

Autoethnography in Media Studies

Digitalization of Television in Finland, or Carrying Home Cardboard Boxes

Johanna Uotinen

ABSTRACT

This chapter discusses the possibilities and limits of autoethnography for media studies. As an example, I use my own technological experiences with television as it relates to the digitalization process of television broadcasting that occurred in Finland. The chapter demonstrates how autoethnography makes it possible to study media-related everyday practices that are difficult to research with other methods, as these practices have become invisible due their repetitive and mundane nature. To conclude, I suggest that autoethnography is a method that offers possibilities for connecting the personal to the cultural and social and thus grasps everyday-based small agency.

Until the late 1980s, it was simple enough to watch the telly: programs were watched when they were broadcasted. Then the videocassette recorder (VCR) was introduced, but as far as I can remember, the biggest challenges had to do with learning how to use the timer, which seems a relatively simple task now, insuring that there is enough room for the timed recordings in the cassettes, and writing down their contents. Gradually, the main problem was not the technology itself but the result of using it. After my hubby and I bought our first VCR sometime at the beginning of 1990s, our cassette collection started to increase at an accelerating pace. Although we had far-sightedly chosen ...

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