ERIC Number: ED395996
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1996-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Convergent Inquiries: Gloria Anzaldua's "Mestiza" Consciousness and Critical Ethnography.
Parallels in the thinking of Gloria Anzaldua as expressed in her work "Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza" (1987) about "mestiza" consciousness and the tasks of critical ethnography are explored. Ethnography, as it shifts toward the new paradigm of critical ethnography, can learn much from the consciousness Anzaldua projects for the mixed race, minority female, the "mestiza," in that this consciousness tolerates ambiguity while it engages dynamically with subjectivity. Ethnography is a qualitative methodology arising from the growing movement away from positivism. Critical ethnography, particularly, entails the immersion of a participant/observer, the researcher, into the culture of a particular group or setting. The tools are varied, the process critical, but at the heart of critical ethnography is a political challenge to the hierarchies inherent in positivism. Anzaldua has also rejected positivism in her call for uprooting dualistic thinking in the individual and collective consciousness. The ethnographer has the task of assisting in the work of uncovering and discovering agency and subjectivity, tasks that the mestiza faces in examining her past and reinterpreting her history. What separates ethnography from critical ethnography is the latter's concern with agency and subjectivity as it relates to social transformation. This is the "borderlands" of critical ethnography. Consciousness does not come easily for the mestiza, nor for the ethnographer, but both are engaged in "border crossing." (SLD)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Consciousness; Mestizos (People); Positivism
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (New York, NY, April 8-12, 1996).