Document Type



We begin this essay by defining autoethnography, paying special attention to the various orientations of autoethnographic research. We then review popular culture research that has used autoethnography as a method of inquiry before identifying key strengths of autoethnography. As those strengths reflect, autoethnography is a valid, viable, and vital method for popular culture research. We conclude by examining criteria for evaluating autoethnography, especially in terms of quality and risk. As we demonstrate, autoethnography offers another way to study popular texts and contexts, or, in the words of Stuart Hall, the “local hopes and local aspirations, local tragedies, and local scenarios that are the everyday practices and the everyday experiences of ordinary folks” (107-108).

Publication Date


Original Citation

Manning, J., & Adams, T. E. (2015). Popular culture studies and autoethnography: An essay on method. The Popular Culture Studies Journal, 3, 187-221. Retrieved from


Department of Communication

Legacy Department

Department of Communication





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