Toward Pedagogies and Methodologies of Collaboration, Inclusion, and Voice
6. Engaging Co-Reflexive Critical Dialogues When Entering and Leaving the “Field”: Toward Informing Collaborative Research Methods at the Color Line and Beyond
Echoing W. E. B. Du Bois one century before him, an acclaimed U.S. historian, the late John Hope Franklin (1993), admonished us about the legacy of racism in the twenty-first century and the problem of the color line. This chapter will discuss how researchers sharing one “field”1 location can engage co-reflexive2 critical dialogue as a collaborative method at the crucial moments of entering and leaving the “field.” These moments can be particularly useful for diverse research teams, as we begin to anticipate and address issues emerging at the color line and beyond—issues that can be revealed in retrospect as hidden and silenced limitations of our data interpretations.
While pursuing doctoral degrees at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC), Hughes in Education and Willink in Communication and Cultural Studies, both of us had the opportunity to participate in the same Spencer Grant-funded project.3 The project explored school desegregation history as experienced by local families of northeastern North Carolina.
Hughes entered the project as a self-identified “Black male local public schooled native ethnographer,” while Willink entered the project as a self-identified “White female private-school educated Yankee,” in the more traditional role of “going native.”4 In 2007, we began, quite haphazardly, a collaborative critical journey that would ultimately generate refreshing insights into our experiences of pursuing family histories as part of our ethnographic research. While brief, unplanned, and inconsistent e-mail correspondence began at that time, the first opportunity for us to reconnect ← 95...
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