How the Language and Culture of Scholars Affects Their Choice of Subjects and Methods of Research
Investigating the Researcher's Habits of Mind
This book is a reflective essay that challenges the paradigms used in qualitative research, both at the level of data collecting and at the eventual publishing and/or sharing of findings. In reviewing published research and witnessing presentations of data resulting from interviews, narratives, open-ended questionnaires and field notes, critical issues related to the languages and cultures of both researchers and researched, appear to be neglected. In this text, discussions of potential misunderstandings and misinterpretations, often not accounted for in reporting findings, are de-constructed and posited as potentially harmful to informing practice and policy in fields, such as education, policy design, and the social sciences. The goal of this book is to encourage explicit discussions of the impact of differences in languages and cultures of the researchers and researched in the design and practice of qualitative methods, and in the reporting of findings.
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What Reviewers Are Saying
"In the future when the historian sifts through the debris of our era, oversaturated with information, once the dross has been cast aside, more than a few of the things that remain will be bound in the covers of The Edwin Mellen Press. - Charles S. Kraszewski King's College "The importance of research and scholarly work in today's world of data-driven decision making, assessment, and outcomes underscores the importance of the work that follows in this text... We cannot forget or underestimate the extent that our experiences and backgrounds shape how we perceive and view the world. The author acknowledges and reminds us of the responsibility that researchers and those of us in positions of authority have if we are to be true researchers and academicians... This work brings recognition to the importance of language and culture for research and scholarship and the impact it has on practice. The situations and examples that the author references and shares related to language and cultural characteristics of subjects and participants significantly supports the need to attend to these elements in order to accurately study, examine, and analyze data and research results." - (from the Foreword) Wilfredo Nieves, Ed.D., President, Middlesex Community College, Middletown, CT "This is an exceptional and daring text that confronts academic hegemony. In the analysis of hegemonic factors that interact with the understanding of research contexts and texts... it is also important to consider the differences of the 'hidden and the overt transcript'... The privilege of publication is a hegemonic result of society's cultural and political disparities. This text is central to this issue... Nevertheless, this text establishes that well-done research, as described here, uncovers social inequalities and demands social activism as an imperative ethical response." - (from the Foreword) Nuria Ciofalo, Ph.D., Senior Evaluation Analyst, The California Endowment "As scholars and students in a multitude of contexts would attest, field research is intricate, ever challenging and ever developing. Scholars and students change, methods evolve, and people and communities grow. What can never be repeated enough is that field scholars should never believe that they have the last word, or have painted the ultimate truth about villagers on a remote island, executives in an organization, work-ways of press, or news and entertainment audience segments. This text addresses several of the complexities of engagement involved in field research with language and cultural communities. The author clearly strives toward honesty, transparency, and human justice in her research and encourages others to do the same." - Diana I. Rios, Associate Professor of Communication Sciences and Puerto Rican/Latino Studies, University of Connecticut"