So You’re "Latina, Latina": On the Importance of Positionality and Reflexivity in Developing Scholar Activist Praxis

Abstract / Resumen / Resumo

When I signed up for field methods in graduate school, I really just wanted to know how to structure qualitative research that would adhere to positivist epistemology. I admit, at that point in my academic career, I had a pretty narrow definition for what qualified as research and how it should be done. And so began the un-learning process as I scrutinized the forms of knowledge production considered valid by many of my colleagues and contemplated on the type of knowledge I wanted to produce. My research praxis evolved as I immersed myself in scholarship on methodology, ethics, positionality, extractivism, and scholar-activism in the field (Nagar et al. 2003, Valentine 2005, Koopman 2005; Rose 1997; Hale 200; Breitbart 2010; Nagar 2002; Chacko 2004). Self-critical introspection and dialogue with feminist geographers, to whom I am indebted, led to my own “reflexive-turn” (Rose 1997; Foley 2002).