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Decolonizing Ethnography Carolina Alonso Bejarano

Decolonizing Ethnography By Carolina Alonso Bejarano

Decolonizing Ethnography by Carolina Alonso Bejarano

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The coauthors of Decolonizing Ethnography integrate ethnography with activist work in a New Jersey center for undocumented workers, showing how anthropology can function as a vehicle for activism and as a tool for marginalized people to theorize their own experiences.

Decolonizing Ethnography Summary

Decolonizing Ethnography: Undocumented Immigrants and New Directions in Social Science by Carolina Alonso Bejarano

In August 2011, ethnographers Carolina Alonso Bejarano and Daniel M. Goldstein began a research project on undocumented immigration in the United States by volunteering at a center for migrant workers in New Jersey. Two years later, Lucia Lopez Juarez and Mirian A. Mijangos Garcia-two local immigrant workers from Latin America-joined Alonso Bejarano and Goldstein as research assistants and quickly became equal partners for whom ethnographic practice was inseparable from activism. In Decolonizing Ethnography the four coauthors offer a methodological and theoretical reassessment of social science research, showing how it can function as a vehicle for activism and as a tool for marginalized people to theorize their lives. Tacking between personal narratives, ethnographic field notes, an original bilingual play about workers' rights, and examinations of anthropology as a discipline, the coauthors show how the participation of Mijangos Garcia and Lopez Juarez transformed the project's activist and academic dimensions. In so doing, they offer a guide for those wishing to expand the potential of ethnography to serve as a means for social transformation and decolonization.

Decolonizing Ethnography Reviews

[Decolonizing Ethnography] offers an innovative way in which ethnography, practiced by the people who have been traditionally positioned as the ethnographic research objects, can be a powerful tool of self-empowerment, public advocacy, and personal transformation. -- Kheira Arrouche * LSE Review of Books *
Decolonizing Ethnography does not just critique colonialist academic practices, it seeks to do something different. ... Accessibly written, interesting, and effectively argued, [this book] will appeal to a wide range of readers interested in issues of migration, activism, ethnography, and knowledge production. ... Perhaps most importantly, Decolonizing Ethnography is a call to anthropology to reconsider its purpose and expand its relevance with research practices that redress the politicized nature of anthropological research and of the social worlds in which our research takes place. -- Ruth Gomberg-Munoz * Anthropological Quarterly *
This work demonstrates specifically an exemplary form of ethnographic writing not necessarily as a model to follow, but as an encouragement and license to expand the direction of critical and reflexive thought that has been ascendant in American ethnographic research for the past 30 years. There are many lively 'moves' in expressing the vitality of this collaboration, none more powerful and exciting than the concluding script of activist theater. Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty. -- G. E. Marcus * Choice *
For occupational science as a field of study increasingly concerned with highlighting the daily experiences of Global South and marginalised groups, this book should be a valuable inspiration and guide. As a Eurocentric discipline, we have a way to go in decolonising theory production and the means by which we do so. This text may inspire us to continue on the path of liberation for our discipline and the communities with whom we study and collaborate. -- Juman Simaan * Journal of Occupational Science *
Decolonizing Ethnography provides an excellent background on engaged scholarship and a roadmap for how one team overcame hierarchies to collaborate across difference. It is an excellent tool for training students to design community-embedded research and will be useful for a range of syllabi (it's already on mine!). The book also offers the rare chance to see undocumented worker-activists as scholars and authors, and that itself is a gift. -- Abigail Andrews * Ethnic and Racial Studies *
As a collaboration, this book both advocates for and puts into practice data gathering and reporting techniques that continue to stand in opposition to anthropology's standard modes of research. The book's clarity of writing, its resolute tone had this reviewer conduct some soul-searching about her own position vis-a-vis the decolonial challenge. -- Nora Haenn * Anthropos *
[Decolonizing Ethnography] is encouraging us to open our minds, addressing the colonial impact in academia, to decolonize and liberate ourselves from intellectual and academic colonization. This is a call for anthropologists to empower others to speak for themselves.... -- Hussein Masimbi and Paula Uimonen * Anthropology Book Forum *
[Decolonizing Ethnography] discusses how to use anthropological knowledge to advance the causes of undocumented migrants in the United States. . . . [It] take[s] the bold step of centralizing migrants' stories, dilemmas, and choices, and . . . reminds us that each story is unique with endings that are impossible to know. -- Ana Hontanilla * Latin American Research Review *

About Carolina Alonso Bejarano

Carolina Alonso Bejarano is Assistant Professor of Law at the University of Warwick. She is also a DJ and a cartoonist.

Lucia Lopez Juarez is an activist who fights for equal rights for all people, a domestic worker, and a mother who cares for her home.

Mirian A. Mijangos Garcia is a singer, songwriter, and naturopath. She is also a mother, an ethnographer, and an immigrants' rights activist.

Daniel M. Goldstein is Professor Emeritus of Anthropology at Rutgers University and author of Owners of the Sidewalk: Security and Survival in the Informal City, also published by Duke University Press.

Table of Contents

broken poem ix
Preface xi
Acknowledgments xv
Introduction 1
1. Colonial Anthropology and Its Alternatives 17
2. Journeys toward Decolonizing 38
3. Reflections on Fieldwork in New Jersey 59
4. Undocumented Activist Theory and a Decolonial Methodology 78
5. Undocumented Theater: Writing and Resistance 101
Conclusion 136
Notes 149
References 161
Index 179

Additional information

Decolonizing Ethnography: Undocumented Immigrants and New Directions in Social Science by Carolina Alonso Bejarano
Duke University Press
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