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ERIC Number: EJ801793
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Jul
Pages: 27
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 28
ISSN: ISSN-0951-8398
Shades of Gray: An Autoethnographic Study of Race in the Academy
Miller, Daniel M.
International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education (QSE), v21 n4 p347-373 Jul 2008
The study is an autoethnographic case study of one Black man's experiences, both within and outside academe. Two strands of vignettes--one personal, the other professional--run throughout the paper. The two strands are presented in a format similar to parallel editing used in film editing. The overarching goal of the piece is to offer a view of the author's experiences involving race in higher education. The study uses reflexive writing as a method of revisiting and interrogating the author's experience and illustrating how this process of reflexivity impacts on his own in notions of race. The result of these writings ranges from reinforcing relatively simplistic views of race to disrupting his preconceived ideas. While some themes that arise from this piece may resemble previous works on race, racial identity and racial politics, there are unique perspectives and interpretations presented in this paper that are attributable in no small measure to the fact that the author is a Black man who was raised by a white family in white America. Since the author did not have the cultural experience of being Black until he went to college, a white cultural lens largely informs his understandings of his own experiences. However, the act of writing uncovers inconsistencies within the author's own interpretations and theories of race. In fact, it appears that the author has competing theories of race that present dilemmas for his thinking and dealings with race in higher education. The study concludes that writing can be used as an effective method for reflecting, interrogating and modifying one's own perspective to arrive at more nuanced and complex understandings, which reinforce the conclusion that race plays out in messy and complicated ways. (Contains 1 figure and 4 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States