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ERIC Number: ED411217
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997-Mar
Pages: 16
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Inhabited Silences in Feminist Poststructural Inquiry.
Mazzei, Lisa A.
In ethnographic research, silence can be probed as a filter through which to understand metaphors present and absent in conversations. The question posited in this study is how to account for silence as deliberate. From analysis of conversational interactions with classroom teachers, it became apparent that the silences also had meaning, that they were "inhabited." Probing of the silences revealed that although the focus of the conversations was race, the teachers' awareness of themselves as raced (i.e., as having a racial identity) was absent from the conversations. When asked how they described themselves, the teachers included many non-racial descriptors; race was also absent from written biographies. Because whiteness continues to be construcd as the norm, it is rendered invisible. Additionally, when asked how they saw themselves racially, the responses focused not on their race but rather on their identity as white women. Reversing the polarities of silence and talk, or treating talk as the ground and silence as the figure for analysis, results in making the familiar strange and the strange familiar. It is suggested that researchers can become more open to the possibility of multiple meanings in silences and thus find new areas for research. (Contains 26 references.) (JLS)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A