Ethnography Presentation Team Green


Published on

Published in: News & Politics, Technology
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Ethnography Presentation Team Green

  1. 1. FOUNDATIONS Green Group June 18, 2009
  2. 2. Critical Ethnography Overview  Critical ethnography such as Pascoe’s work starts with an ethical responsibility based in compassion for the subjects to research and engage unfairness or injustice in a specific lived domain. and move that situation from “what is” to “what could be”. This creates a situation in which the researcher:  feels a moral obligation toward changing the conditions toward greater equity.  researches, reveals, and disrupts a status quo of obscure power and control structures, that is sometimes below superficial layers of social entities.  resists assimilation by the system and shifts from “what is” to “what could be”.  Critical ethnographers must use privileges, attributes, resources, knowledge, and other factors, to break through the superficial layers and access the stories of those who may be suppressed or restrained by the system in such a manner as to defend their voice.  (Madison, 2005; Carspecken, 1996; Noblit, Flores, & Murillo, 2004; Thomas, 1993).
  3. 3. Purpose of text  Pascoe (2007, P. 18) ”This book examines the way gendered and sexualized identifications and the institutional ordering of these identifications in a California High School both reinforce and challenge inequality among students.”
  4. 4. Goals Pascoe intended to display:  The influence of masculinity in the high school atmosphere and how it permeates the struggle for power and control over others.  Different interpretations and issues with power and masculinity as it pertains to race, gender, social status, etc.  Students that display non-normative behaviors and characteristics and observing how they adjust to the social environment of the high school setting.
  5. 5. Viewing the World  Pascoe relates everything to the “social world” that she studies (p. 5).  An undercurrent theme that was woven throughout the study was one of identity formation specifically during adolescence. This topic provides a great context for studying power, inequalities, gender, and psychological processes—things she has been interested in since high school (p. ix).
  6. 6. Paradigm Shifting  Pascoe values social justice and purposefully challenged others’ theories and traditional definitions as she sought to demonstrate that it is not feasible to strictly categorize or independently define concepts, such as masculinity, without delving into the social norms and cultures that impact the participants perception through an interactionist approach because it is a process and not a singular characteristic (pp.11-14).
  7. 7. Author’s Intentions  Pascoe confirms that all children go through the socialization process that includes teasing and bullying. Being compassionate, she provides some recommendations for institutions that would better support gay and non-normatively gendered students (p. 24). This would assert that she would like to make a difference in the future by helping to decrease these behaviors within high school settings.
  8. 8. Foundations  The recognition that high school is the major socializing structure that is prevalent for the youth in our society.  The identification of non-normative students and recognizing that they are marginalized because of their lack of “power” in how they are treated and supported.  The use of the “fag discourse” also prevails in that masculine qualities are rewarded with power and privilege. These qualities are not seen in the inferior person with feminine qualities (“the fag”).  Femininity is referred to as a means to emasculate males and render females helpless. Females who have masculine qualities are revered, while males with feminine qualities are ridiculed.  The integration of queer theory, feminist theory, and sociological research literature to explore the process and definitions of masculinities
  9. 9. Behavior Considerations  She believes it is important to recognize how masculinity and sexuality influence the power that students possess.  Men and women both possess masculinity and various influences of power.  Perceptions of masculinity and sexuality influence the powers that students possess.  Similar perceptions often dictate power or privilege that is afforded to those in certain situations and categories.  Perceptions play a major role in society as to how people are viewed or judged.
  10. 10. Rationale  The study was conducted in order to display the difficulties students, faculty, and staff possess in providing adequate and equal opportunities for all students.  In the words of Pascoe, “At both the institutional and individual levels, we need to support boys and girls who enact non-normative gender and sexual identities. Make them safer places for all students: masculine girls, feminine boys, and all those in between.”
  11. 11. Positionality  Ethnographic positionality ≠ subjectivity  Subjectivity is part of positionality, but positionality recognition must go beyond subjectivity of self.  Consider: MAHER and TETREAULT (1994), Madison (2005), and St. Louis & Barton (2002). Positionality is how people are defined by  location within shifting networks of relationships that are subject to analysis and change.  race, gender, class, and other socially significant dimensions.
  12. 12. Positionality  A focus solely on suffering, injustice, and power struggles are not enough in their political aims. There must be a shift from just politics to politics of positionality (Madison, 2005).  Three forms of positionality of ethnographer as a researcher according to Fine (1994)  Ventriloquist-Transmits information with no political stance. Ethnographer’s essence is invisible in the text.  Voices-Subjects are the focus and their expressions relay the indigenous meanings/experiences that are in conflict with power and status quo. Ethnographer’s essence is not clearly addressed but somewhat present in the text.  Activism-Marginalized groups and locations and the tangible effects of power/status quo on them are revealed in an active effort by ethnographer. Ethnographer offers alternative practices to system. A clear presence of ethnographer’s intervention on hegemonic practices is evident in text.  These are similar to Habermas’s (1971) (in Madison, 2005) positions of natural science model, historical and interpretive model, and critical theory model, respectively.
  13. 13. Why Positionality is Important  Noblit et. al. (2004) exclaimed the concern of a focus on social change in critical ethnography, but a lack of focus of the postionality of the researcher:  “Critical ethnographers must explicitly consider how their own acts of studying and representing people and situations are acts of domination even as critical ethnographers reveal the same in what they study” (p. 3).  Positionality recognition by the researcher is crucial because it makes the researcher:  Recognize their own power of authority, subjectivity, biases, privilege, as they are critiquing systems that encompass the subjects they are studying.  Accountable for research paradigms, and how the research is interpreted and presented.  Madison (2005)
  14. 14. Why Positionality is Important  Questions presented in Madison (2005) that reflection of positionality (“reflexive ethnography”) force the researcher to ask:  What am I going to do with the research?  Who benefits from the research?  How am I an authority in such a manner to make claims based on the research?  What changes will come from the research?  How does my past relate/influence the research?  This creates a situation where critical ethnography can strive to critique objectivity and subjectivity equally (Goodall, 2000).  To sum up why consideration of positionality is important:  “We are simply forbidden to submit value judgments in place of facts or to leap to ‘ought’ conclusions without a demonstrable cogent theoretical and empirical linkage” (Thomas, 1993, p. 22).
  15. 15. Further questions from Madison (2005, p 4.)  1. How do we reflect upon and evaluate our own purpose, intentions, and frames of analysis as researchers?  2. How do we predict consequences or evaluate our own potential to do harm?  3. How do we create and maintain a dialogue of collaboration in our research projects between ourselves and Others?  4. How is the specificity of the local story relevant to the broader meanings and operations of the human condition?  5. How—in what location or through what intervention—will our work make the greatest contribution to equity, freedom, and justice?
  16. 16. Pascoe’s Positionality  There are so many factors that go into a researcher’s positionality that even the researcher themselves may have a hard time accounting for them all. Because this is the case, it is the intent for the Green Team to give examples of influences of Pascoe’s positionality in order to illustrate what it is. As a researcher in Dude You’re a Fag, it is interpreted that Pascoe’s positionality based on Fine’s (1994) classification is Voices/Activism (More on the activism side). (NOTE RATIONALE SLIDE FOR HER FOCUS IN THIS STUDY)
  17. 17. Pascoe’s Embeddedness  Fieldwork:  Suburban High School in working class Riverton  Demographics of Riverton: ½ white, ¼ latino or hispanic, ¼ African American or Asian.
  18. 18. Influences on Pascoe’s Positionality  Personal Factors:  Influences from educators/education system:  High school English teachers:  Taught her how to write  Introduced her to “social topics that still drive my research- power, inequality, gender, psychological processes, and feminism” (Pascoe, 2007 p. ix).  Mentors at Brandeis University:  Introduced her to sociology and feminist theory.  Taught her about scholarship, contemplating social world, and addressing inequality.
  19. 19. Influences on Pascoe’s Positionality  Personal Factors Continued:  Partner “is a teacher and mentor to youth much like those as River High.” (Pascoe, 2007 p. xi)  Identifies herself as  “A strong, assertive woman” (Pascoe, 2007, p. 183).  One who socializes mainly with feminists.  Feeling scared, angry, unsettled, and objectified when she was used as an identifying resource in the boys positioning her as a potential sexual partner.
  20. 20. Influences on Pascoe’s Positionality  Financial Resources, Support, and Affiliations  The Graduate Division, Center for the Study of Sexual Cultures  Center for the Study of Peace and Well-Being,  Abigail Reynolds Hodgen Fund  Department of Sociology (U of California at Berkely)
  21. 21. Influences on Pascoe’s Positionality  Intellectual Support: from educators/education system:  Center for Working Families, Center for the Study of Sexual Cultures  Themes of support from University of California, Berkeley Mentors:  Sociology, feminist theory, theories of interaction, theories of childhood (These are the one’s Pascoe stated influenced her approach to the youth at River High. They are also many of the same ones she cites in her research.  Assistance in analysis on gender, youth, and sexuality.  Themes of support from University of California, Berkeley Students:  Drew from student in her own courses such as “The Sociology of Gender”, “Gender and Education”, and “Masculinities” to get feedback and keep relevant to teen culture.
  22. 22. Thoughts on Positionality  Some high school boys may be “performing” for her and intensifying their beavior in her presence at times for her attention (P 62-63 with Ben and the oily jeans)  Pascoe must reflect on her presence as a researcher and how it may affect their behavior.  She conveys her purpose of research as writing a book about guys. I think this may be problematic in her research in that it may magnify some of the students behavior towards stereotypical “guyness”.  She notes that the students knew about the focus of her study on masculinity.
  23. 23. Pascoe’s Embeddedness & Positionality  Considered factors that affect her research such as:  Appearance: Wore baggy cargo pants, black t-shirt or sweater and sneakers with no make-up.  Was mistaken by teachers students, and staff as either a student, teacher, or parole officer.  Interaction: Did not try to exclude herself, or fit in with the students. Used just enough slang like students to communicate differently than teachers, but also asked them frequently to explain themselves so she would indicate she was not one of them. Also had to come across to administrators as responsible.  Did not want to be seen as an authority figure.
  24. 24. Pascoe’s Embeddedness & Positionality  Considered factors that affect her research such as:  Gender/sexuality/age intersections: Being female studying adolescent boys: Had to balance the line as a young female who looks like one of the students who could have been susceptible to sexual content being infused into interactions by boys. Managed these interactions and maintained professionalism by creating a “least-adult identity” or least-gendered” identity (Mandell, 1988)  Least Adult/Gender  Positioned herself as a woman who had “masculine cultural capital.”  Used bodily comportment, inability to be offended, living in a tough area, athleticism, competitive joking.  Balanced between acceptance of boys use as a potential sexual partner/object and an insider/outsider role in relation to age/sexuality/ gender.  Utilized “soft-bunch lesbian demeanor” (Pascoe 2007, p.181)
  25. 25. Pascoe’s Embeddedness & Positionality  Least Adult/Gender continued  Allowed for maximizing information gathering while not disrupting boys masculinity building.  Played the role of young adult many times by placing herself as a liaison between teenage and adult world through her interactions.  Constant documentation and materials though still put her in the role of privileged outsider as it was perceived that she knew more about the boys as they did themselves.  Had to promise repeatedly that students would not get in trouble for what they told her.  Students repeatedly tested her to determine if this was the case.
  26. 26. Positionality in Summary  Pascoe had to continuously monitor her own interactions with her subjects as she had to conduct herself in a manner as to not be objectified by the masculinity power building process of the teenage boys, but also had to not look like such an authority figure as to remove her ability to research it. This was especially difficult in some ways given her age, gender, small stature, and student like appearance. Conversely, these factors also gained her privileged access to witnessing important phenomena that would help her research. Pascoe also had to recognize her personal qualities (education and her own personal research interests) that made her more sensitive, yet insightful to occurrences such as objectification by the boys in their quest for masculinity. Lastly, she also had to remain professional enough to work with in the constraint of administrators, the school system, and professional ethics.
  27. 27. Ethical Considerations  Pascoe had issues of being a woman researcher asking high school adolescents questions and observing their behaviors related to sexuality, gender, roles, etc.  She had issues of confidentiality when learning about “getting girls” and practices that sounded a lot like sexual assault on the part of the males.  Like most critical ethnographer closely interacting with her subjects, she had to weigh her subjectivity and positionality.
  28. 28. References Carspecken, P.F. (1996). Critical ethnography in educational research: A theoretical and practical guide. New York: Routledge. Fine, M. (1994) Chartering Urban School Reform: Reflections on Public High Schools in the Midst of Change Teachers College Press,New York, NY. Madison, D. S. (2005) Critical Ethnography: Methods, Ethics, and Performance. Thousand Oaks, US: Sage Publications. Maher, F. A. & Tetreault, M. K. (1994). The Feminist Classroom. New York: Basic Books. Noblit, Flores & Murillo. (2004). Postcritical ethnography: An introduction. In Noblit, Flores & Murillo (Eds.) Postcritical ethnography: Reinscribing critique. Cresskill, New Jersey: Hampton Press Inc. Goodall, H.L. Jr. (2000). Writing the new ethnography, Walnut Creek California, Alta Mira. St. Louis, K. & A. C.Barton (2002). Tales from the Science Education Crypt: A Critical Reflection of Positionality, Subjectivity, and Reflexivity in Research Qualitative Social Research Forum, Volume 3, No. 3, Art. 19 Thomas, J. (1993). Doing Critical Ethnography. Sage Publications, Newbury Park, CA