My language learning, using, and researching stories: critical autoethnography of socialization
In this three-paper dissertation, I first reviewed recently published autoethnographic works in applied linguistics. Then, drawing on the subsections of socialization theory, I narrated my stories related to learning, using, and teaching English alongside becoming an educational researcher. In the first paper, I conducted a state-of-the-art review of autoethnographies published in peer-reviewed applied linguistics journals between 2010 and 2020. I examined the ways researchers used autoethnography as a qualitative methodology to discuss their language-related experiences. I aimed to answer how recent autoethnographic studies used autoethnography as a new qualitative research methodology in applied linguistics. Overall, the findings showed that a great majority of the researchers employed autoethnography as ‘an umbrella term’ without opting for a specific type of autoethnography. Their motivation to use autoethnography pertained mostly to their choice of using personal data rather than experimenting on the methodological affordances of autoethnography. They provided little or no justification about their methodological choices as to what affordances autoethnography offered them that other methodologies did not. The second paper explores my language learning, using, and teaching experiences via critical autoethnography of socialization. Collecting personal data from my memory and supplementary sources, I employed a chronicling the past strategy in my data analysis. The findings showed that many complex factors involved in my socialization processes such as the attitudes of other members, more specifically those of old(er)timers; individual, institutional, and national desires; multi-level level language ideologies; my previous experiences and my future aspirations. Framed as ‘mystory,’ the third paper explored my transnational academic discourse socialization centering on my higher education experiences in Turkey and in the US. I used memory-based self-reflections and multimodal data regarding my university life. I analyzed these data using a chronicling the past strategy. The findings showed that my transnational socialization was triggered and fueled by my desire to break away from nation-state ideologies and to learn about other cultures and peoples. On the whole, my transnational socialization was a complex mental/emotional/intellectual process manifested in translanguaging practices in hybrid, fluid, and in-between spaces.