A Duo-Ethnographic Conversation on Social Justice Activism: Exploring Issues of Identity, Racism, and Activism with Young People

By Lund, Darren E.; Nabavi, Maryam | Multicultural Education, Summer 2008 | Go to article overview

A Duo-Ethnographic Conversation on Social Justice Activism: Exploring Issues of Identity, Racism, and Activism with Young People


Lund, Darren E., Nabavi, Maryam, Multicultural Education


Darren Lund:

I have been thinking about starting this conversation1 for a long time, and I am excited about using a "duoethnographic" method (Norris, in press) to get this going.

The principal belief underlying this approach is that we inevitably learn more about something by talking about it with another person. I acknowledge Bill Pinar's explorations of understanding self, expressed as currere and extended by Rick Sawyer and Joe Norris (2004) to notions of our dialogic self.

A few years ago I attended an interesting presentation at an academic conference (Sawyer & Norris, 2005) and have since begun to explore this avenue of research. Perhaps we could call it a conversation, but I hope by focusing our dialogue in this way we can move it beyond a simple discussion. I appreciate the view taken by Carolyn Ellis (1997) about scholarly narrative writing, and auto-ethnography in particular; it can be "emotional, personal, therapeutic, interesting, engaging, evocative, reflexive, helpful, concrete, and connected to the world of everyday experience" (p. 120).

If you think about it, we probably began this dialogue some years ago when we first started working together on the Youth Reach Out Against Racism (ROAR) team (Youth ROAR, 2007). I remember seeing you as a very capable and committed youth leader, and it was great working together.

The purpose of this dialogue is to share our thoughts in a reflective conversation that opens up new insights into our topics, which can be as broad or narrow as we like. What if we start by thinking of the field we're in-collaborative anti-racism education and activism with young people-and how our own identities are part of that work? Each time we meet or talk about our research I'm sure we touch on these issues in some way, so hopefully this will seem more like a natural conversation than a formal writing project.

I know you have learned fairly recently of the accidental nature of my own initial involvement in this field, and of my rather narrow upbringing within a family that didn't exactly promote human rights or anti-racism. Should I get into the whole White redemptive discourse about my coming late to social justice? Might a few drastic anecdotes from my childhood help initiate this? I remember our recent conversation about your multiple and shifting ethnic/racial identities as they've formed and changed over the years. Any thoughts on where you imagine or hope this writing might take us?

Maryam Nabavi:

Finally, I'm taking the time to write about my experiences in antioppression work. It is certainly not by accident that it has taken so long for me to get to a place of writing.

I find that I really have to go deep within to find the roots of where this drive came from-this is a difficult exercise as I feel that experiences, insignificant at the time, have been instrumental in shaping who I am as well as my work in this area.

I approach this work with great interest both politically and personally. I find that my politics have been woven into my multiple identities. As an immigrant, "woman of color," academic, activist, and educator, I find that I wear multiple hats and can be a chameleon when and where I choose. This is advantageous but also incredibly confusing. Although the distinction is subtle, I feel that we are all part of the relationship between oppression and resistance.

I work to reclaim my multiple identities and become more aware of both the challenges and advantages that I carry. Finding a middle place to the extremes, as constructed by dominant rhetoric, is an ongoing process that I embrace through transformative approaches to social change and always being counter-hegemonic.

A theme that has been prevalent in the past couple of years has been the notion of existing in the "middle space." It came about when I attended a talk with a friend of mine in Toronto and, as the speaker-a self-identified Iranian and woman of color-was being introduced, my friend turned to me and asked if I, too, as an Iranian woman, identified as being a person of color. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

A Duo-Ethnographic Conversation on Social Justice Activism: Exploring Issues of Identity, Racism, and Activism with Young People
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.