Harvard Educational Review
  1. Winter 1996 Issue »

    The Colonizer/Colonized Chicana Ethnographer

    Identity, Marginalization, and Co-optation in the Field

    By Sofia Villenas
    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.

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    Winter 1996 Issue


    The Colonizer/Colonized Chicana Ethnographer
    Identity, Marginalization, and Co-optation in the Field
    By Sofia Villenas
    "To Take Them at Their Word"
    Language Data in the Study of Teachers' Knowledge
    By Donald Freeman
    Inclusion, School Restructuring, and the Remaking of American Society
    By Dorothy Kerzner Lipsky and Alan Gartner
    Sustained Inquiry in Education
    Lessons from Skill Grouping and Class Size
    By Frederick Mosteller, Richard J. Light and Jason A. Sachs

    Book Notes

    Saving Our Sons
    By Marita Golden

    This Is How We Live and Tapori

    Wasting America's Future: The Children's Defense Fund Report on the Cost of Child Poverty
    By Arloc Sherman; Introduction by Marian Wright Edelman; Foreword by Robert M. Solow

    Blacked Out
    By Signithia Fordham

    Works about John Dewey 1886–1995
    Edited by Barbara Levine

    By Matthew Lipman

    Diversity in Higher Education
    By Caryn McTighe Musil, with Mildred Garcia, Yolanda Moses, and Daryl G. Smith

    Handbook of Qualitative Research
    Edited by Norman K. Denzin and Yvonna S. Lincoln.

    Commissions, Reports, Reforms, and Educational Policy
    Edited by Rick Ginsberg and David N. Plank.

    The Multilevel Design
    By Harry J. M. Huttner and Pieter van den Eeden.

    Search and Seizure in the Public Schools (Second Edition)
    By Lawrence F. Rossow and Jacqueline A. Stefkovich

    Call 1-800-513-0763 to order this issue.