Volume 6 Issue 1 (2010): Autoethnography as Research Practice
Using Autoethnography to Explicate Social Identities

Researcher-Researched Difference: Adapting an Autoethnographic Approach for Addressing the Racial Matching Issue

Donnalyn Pompper
Published August 2, 2010
  • researcher-researched relationship,
  • difference,
  • race,
  • ethnicity,
  • autoethnography,
  • power
  • ...More


This introspective essay was inspired by a desire to reflect on the use of qualitative research methods--where I am a Caucasian woman examining work experiences of women of color. I launched a journey backward to discover respondents' motivation for participating in my focus groups over the years, to closely examine their comfort level with a cross-ethnic dyad. The exercise enabled me to reflect on how I had negotiated power issues inherent in the research process. It contributes to the ongoing dialogue about autoethnography--where understanding of self in socio-cultural context is both the subject and object of the research enterprise. Overall, I interrogate epistemological and methodological practicalities of researching difference.