ERIC Number: EJ719739
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005
Reference Count: 53
Narratives of the Social Scientist: Understanding the Work of John Ogbu
Foster, Kevin Michael
International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, v18 n5 p565-580 Sep-Oct 2005
This article contextualizes the work of the late educational anthropologist John Ogbu in terms of uniquely American narratives that have explanatory and motivational value for different segments of the US population. The narrative Ogbu championed has explanatory value among several educational researchers, and is consistent with an ethnic immigrant narrative that has long held motivational value among African, Asian and European immigrant students in the United States--quite possibly including John Ogbu--who came to the US as an immigrant student himself. While I point out specific problems that undermine the accuracy of Ogbu's assessments and the quality of his analysis, I also point out that (for better or worse), when it comes to the effectiveness and acceptance of such narratives among different groups of people, historical accuracy and objective truth is not as important as the extent to which the explanations offered hold explanatory and motivational value and resonate with individual or group experiences and understandings of the world.
Descriptors: Social Sciences, Immigrants, Student Motivation, Student Diversity, Minority Groups, Cultural Influences, Personal Narratives, African American Students, Racial Factors, African American Education, Educational History, Racial Bias
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Publication Type: Information Analyses; Journal Articles
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States