In this article, Sofia Villenas describes her experience of being caught in the midst of oppressive discourses of "othering" during her work as a Chicana ethnographer in a rural North Carolina Latino community. While Villenas was focusing on how to reform her relationship with the Latino community as "privileged" ethnographer, she missed the process by which she was being co-opted by the dominant English-speaking community to legitimate their discourse of Latino family education and child-rearing practices as "problem." By engaging in this discourse, she found herself complicit in the manipulation of her own identities and participating in her own colonization an marginalization. Through her story, Villenas recontextualizes theories about the multiplicity of identities of the researcher. She problematizes the "we" in the literature of qualitative researchers who analyze their race, class and gender privileges. Villenas challenges dominate-culture education ethnographers to move beyond the researcher-as-colonizer position and to call upon their own histories of complicity and marginalization in order to move toward new identities and discourses. Similarly, she calls upon ethnographers from marginalized cultures to recognize their position as border crossers and realize that they are their own voices of activism.
The Colonizer/Colonized Chicana Ethnographer: Identity, Marginalization, and Co-optation in the Field
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Sofia Villenas; The Colonizer/Colonized Chicana Ethnographer: Identity, Marginalization, and Co-optation in the Field. Harvard Educational Review 1 December 1996; 66 (4): 711–732. doi: https://doi.org/10.17763/haer.66.4.3483672630865482
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