Akira and Autoethnography

The screening this week, Akira (1988), is an absolutely amazing cyberpunk anime which explored themes of government corruption, human/technological relationships and, loss of humanity. Furthermore, the anime also showcased themes of the impact of war, specifically World War II. This is similar to our screening of Gojira (1954) in week one. Although I would love to talk about the movie, this weeks task is to discuss autoethnography in our blog posts. Through this weeks tweets from other students, I was able to better understand the concept of autoethnography.

Although the topic of autoethnography can still be quite confusing at times, I think I understand it. Autoethnography is the process of people analysing their own personal experience and applying it to make sense of new cultural experiences. Due to this, each individual will have a different experience when experiencing new cultures. A line from the reading, “Different kinds of people possess different assumptions about the world” (Ellis et al, 2011), is what enabled me to form an understanding of autoethnography.

This idea of “different kinds of people possess different assumptions about the world” (Ellis et al, 2011) was clearly evidenced in this weeks seminar through the live tweets. As Akira is sometimes a difficult movie to follow and there are numerous events in the movie that are quite strange, the class linked the events of the Akira to other movies individuals in the class had watched as children to make sense of the movie. For example, there was a part in the movie where the main character, Tetsuo, is in the hospital and the toys surrounding bed start to come to life. Following this, there were numerous tweets about Toy Story. 

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This can be compared to how I formed an understanding of the film through a cultural impact in my life, an anime/manga series “Death Note“. Therefore, through other students in the class making sense of the movie through Toy Story and myself through Death Note demonstrates how autoethnography works. Autoethnography is the process of people analysing their own personal experience and applying it to make sense of new cultural experiences.

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Furthermore, I believe there are different levels of ethnographic research. For example, I believe that ethnographic research can be considered to be something as simple as a learning a new world in another language which can help an individual understand an aspect of the culture that word came from and can extend to going overseas to experience a different culture through immersion.

Although my topic for the assessments later in this subject still has not been decided, I am extremely excited to l earn more about Asian cultures. Specifically Japan and South Korea as I am travelling to both of these countries in January and February next year! Growing up in a Caucasian Australian household with British/European background, there are numerous aspects of every Asian culture which I could learn and develop understanding of through this class.

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