19 SES 14, We are, I am, you are: A workshop on ethnographic becoming
We are a collaborative writing and thinking group that has been meeting and learning together for over eighteen years. In our work together, we have practiced “joining in,” as we have developed our understandings about our qualitative research methods, our research contexts, and ourselves (Bernard, Cervoni, Desir & McKamey, 2009). Through “joining in,” we have developed a collective practice of responding to each other and our work in generative ways that attend to emotion and content, and that provides a space for the speaker “to express her experiences, connections and doubts rather than imposing our own (485).” Our goal for this workshop is to share how this process works for us by having participants experience for themselves the process of “joining in.” Through interacting with the methodology of a performance “collage,” we will bring our process to life in our session, and participants will have the opportunity to join in with us and to explore concepts of inclusion and exclusion, recognition and misrecognition within space, and place.
An arts-informed qualitative method, collage-making has been used by researchers to understand the developing identities of participants, including educators young mothers (Luttrell, 2010), teachers (Restler, 2017), and students (Cervoni, 2011, 2014). Collage allows the maker to contrast different images, textures, colors and spaces as s/he generates multiple conscious and unconscious meanings (Butler-Kisber, 2008). We use the metaphor of collage because it evokes the spatial physicality of individual pieces overlapping and making up a larger whole. We see this process as similar to the ethnographic process of making meaning on the part of researchers and participants through multiple, dynamic lenses (Luttrell, 2010). We also find a resonance between this process and the interaction between various positions and identities in the construction of identity (Bernard, 2004).
In the spirit of a collective collage-making process, we invite our workshop participants to reflect on, dialogue, piece together, and contrast the content and process of their own different and collective ways of making meaning of a textual object- a poem. Participants will consider the places, geographies, processes, and emotions that the object evokes. As we reflect on our work together, we will examine the shared experience of the poem, and we will consider several questions based upon the NW 19 Special Call (Researching Spaces in Education through Ethnography, Making Space for a Future Forum):
- What advantages (and challenges) do ethnographers find when working with particular analytical approaches?
- How do ethnographers operationalize concepts of space in their analysis?
- How do ethnographers dialogue with colleagues using other methodologies to capture space as a social construction?
- What questions are we not asking but perhaps should be?
- What kind of collective “space” did the group create (educational? Ethnographic? Analytical? other?)
- In what ways did processes of access, inclusion, and exclusion function in this space?
In this interactive workshop, we will examine both content (the what) and the process (the how) of a collective reading of a poem about a particular space. The group will experience the poem using collective and individual voice. The group will then reflect on processes that are nominated and emerge from the workshop participants themselves. We have chosen Adrienne Rich’s Diving into the Wreck because it provides a textual context for us to collectively examine place. This workshop draws from both traditional ethnographic techniques of participant observation with the use of open ended questions such as What do you notice? and feminist ethnography with the hope of discovering “cultural collisions” (Anzaldua, 1987) in participant interactions. The resulting dialogue will create a performance collage that will facilitate two analytical processes (Restler, 2017). One, the dialogue will highlight distinct voices and perspectives. Two, the facilitators will encourage the group to synthesize and construct an understanding that is layered, multi-voiced and perhaps at times conflicting (Atkinson, Delamont, Housely, 2007). Through these processes, we recognize and celebrate the central role of the individual researcher as the instrument of ethnographic research. In the tradition of Ruth Behar (1996), we will encourage participants to collaborate as “vulnerable observers” and use the medium of collage as a portal to express, perform, create, and explore our identities as researchers. In the tradition of Maxine Greene, the “wide awakeness” (1994) of our artistic encounter – in this case, with a poem – becomes the model for our engagement with our academic work, with ourselves as the instrument of our research, and each other, as we nurture a safe space for this delicate and essential process.
This workshop invites participants to “join in” to a collective analytical process that will be a performance collage. We hope that our collective experience will provide us with a performative “text” through which we can examine, share, and perhaps “trouble” (towards new growth) our own identities, ethnographic research processes and meaning making. This workshop seeks to consider multiple positions, and draws from and demonstrates a transdisciplinary approach to research, including pedagogy (Schneier, 1987); collage (Butler-Kisber & Poldmar, 2011); qualitative methods, (Bogden & Biklen, 2007) narrative analysis (Chase, 2005) and narrative critiques (Hemmings, 2011). The workshop is both limited and also provides a window into the collective experiences, identities and research approaches represented within the group.
Ahmed, Sara. (2004) The Cultural Politics of Emotion. New York: Routledge. Anzaldúa, G. (1987). Borderlands: la frontera (Vol. 3). San Francisco: Aunt Lute. Atkinson, P., Delamont, S., & Housley, W. (2008). Contours of culture: Complex ethnography and the ethnography of complexity. Rowman Altamira. Behar, R. (1996). The Vulnerable Observer: anthropology that breaks your heart. Boston: Beacon Press. Bernard, R., Cervoni, C., Desir, C., & McKamey, C. (2009). Joining in" and" Knowing the I": On becoming reflexive scholars. Qualitative Educational Research: Readings in reflexive methodology and transformative practice, 485-490. Butler-Kisber, L., & Poldma, T. (2011). The power of visual approaches in qualitative inquiry: The use of collage making and concept mapping in experiential research. Journal of Research Practice, 6(2), 18. Cervoni, C. (2014). Identity, Materials, and Pedagogy: Girls in Primary Science Classrooms in Wales. In World Class Initiatives and Practices in Early Education (pp. 67-80). Springer Netherlands. Cervoni, C., & Ivinson, G. (2011). Girls in primary school science classrooms: theorising beyond dominant discourses of gender. Gender and Education, 23(4), 461-475. Chase, S. (2005). Narrative Inquiry: Multiple lenses, approaches and voices. In N.K. Denzin & Y. Lincoln (Eds.) The Sage Handbook of Qualitative Research (3rd edition., pp. 651-679). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. Craven, C.& D.A. Davis, (2013) (eds) Feminist Activist Ethnography: Counterpoints to Neoliberalism in North America. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books. Davis, D. A., & Craven, C. (2016). Feminist ethnography: Thinking through methodologies, challenges, and possibilities. Rowman & Littlefield. Greene, M. (1994). The lived world. The education feminism reader, 17-25. Hemmings, C. (2011). Why stories matter: The political grammar of feminist theory. Durham, NC: Duke University Press. Luttrell, W., & Chalfen, R. (2010). Lifting up voices of participatory visual research. Visual studies, 25(3), 197-200. Restler, V. (2017). Re-Visualizing Care: Teachers' Invisible Labor in Neoliberal Times (Doctoral dissertation, City University of New York). Rich, A. (2013). Diving into the wreck: Poems 1971-1972. WW Norton & Company. Schneier, L. (1987). Apprehending poetry. In E. Duckworth (Ed), Tell Me More: Listening to Learners Explain (pp. 42-78). New York, NY: Teachers College Press. Skeggs, Beverly. (2001) Feminist ethnography. In Handbook of Ethnography, edited by Paul Atkinson, Amanda Coffey, Sara Delamont, John Lofland, and Lyn Lofland. London: Sage Publications.
00. Central Events (Keynotes, EERA-Panel, EERJ Round Table, Invited Sessions)
Network 1. Continuing Professional Development: Learning for Individuals, Leaders, and Organisations
Network 2. Vocational Education and Training (VETNET)
Network 3. Curriculum Innovation
Network 4. Inclusive Education
Network 5. Children and Youth at Risk and Urban Education
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Network 25. Research on Children's Rights in Education
Network 26. Educational Leadership
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