Dangerously Important Moment(s) in Reflexive Research Practices with Immigrant Youth

Jul. 15, 2010

Source: International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, Volume 23, Issue 4
(July 2010) , pages 407 – 421.

The author is a white, working middle-class adult queer from the Southwest USA.
As such, the author's subjective relation to the Mexican (im)migrant, poor, working, straight adolescent boys in California participating in his study was tentative, politicized, controversial, and surveilled from both social and individual lenses.

The relationships between the author and the immigrants were also mutually caring, loving, supportive, stimulating, and challenging. Their ethnographic encounters carried with them some long-standing and dynamic social narratives that surround relations between and across groups of relative privilege and oppression.

These narratives produced 'ethically important moments' wherein the author confronted microethics of research practices that remained largely under-theorized and misunderstood in methodological literature. By critically examining his reflexive processes and practices within one of these moments, insights into the workings of social narratives about race, class, and sexuality are revealed.
These insights can potentially assist future researchers as they confront the politics and microethics of working within and across the intersectionalities of oppression and marginalization.

Updated: Feb. 24, 2011