As far as traditional or orthodox research approaches go, this contribution differs. Despite the fact that auto-ethnography originated back in the 1990s and some of its pioneers stemmed from the USA and the UK the approach is not always well known. For some more orthodox researchers auto-ethnography strikes a jarring note and on occasion was described as “research against the grain” or “too close up and personal”. Disliked by some, advanced by others, yet contemporary qualitative research can benefit from auto-ethnography and prominent authors advocate its value (De Marrais 1998; Ellis and Bochner 2000; Czarniawska 2004; Gingras 2007). Auto-ethnography as an approach frequently deploys the personal narrative triggered by individual experience. Readers may recall an occasion or two where a reviewer critically commented that one does not see, or “feel” enough of the author and that some of the shared views were “distant” (i.e. more of an intellectual treatment of the author’s experience or findings rather than the context or emotions lived through). Autoethnography attempts to fill this lacuna and the underlying idea is to share slices of life or immersion into the human experience. Humans are bodily or somatic beings (Hanna 1970; Luijpen 1980). Sharing experiences also in the search for knowledge thus relates to humanness, shared and personal trials, emotions and feelings. Auto-ethnography as an approach bring the “researcher back in” without losing the context or those who are studied. Auto-ethnography needs – if not blooms on – the reflected-uponexperience of the researcher as one of the tools of research. Personal examples and reflections are crucial and add value to the narrative of the self and others within the social context. Take for example the use of the peer debriefer, a fellow research participant acting as a consistent soundboard. Peer debriefers (those chosen by the author him/herself to critically comment on their work and share their research path) can assist the researcher greatly in the process of

obtaining a doctoral degree or other qualitative research endeavours. Peer debriefers are intrinsic human tools in the auto-ethnographic process. It is imperative for the auto-ethnographer to take heed of those that accompany him or her on the research path. If we are the tools of qualitative research, especially in auto-ethnography, peer debriefers are those that cohone and sharpen the research tools including the researcher as a tool himself. The peer debriefer’s comments facilitate re-thinking about the research and personal experience and re-writing. The debriefing comments lead to re-flection and form part of the process of gaining and sharing insights. It is not without reason that it is argued that “auto-ethnography [is a] particular kind of writing that seeks to unite ethnographic (looking outward at a world beyond one’s own) and autobiographical (gazing inwards for a story of one’s self ) intentions” (Schwandt 2001: 13). “Autoethnography is intended to evoke, rather than state a claim. It is meant to invite the reader into the text to relive the experience, rather than to analyse it” (ibid.). It is an invitation to dialogue on humaneness rather than the cold statement of hypotheses and truths cast in iron. For orthodox researchers or those with positivist inclinations auto-ethnography may perhaps strike a jarring note.