The Influence Of Researcher Identity On Ethnographies In Multiracial Schools

A. P. Chikkatur
Cheryl Jones-Walker, Swarthmore College


This article explores how researchers’ social identities influence data gathered through ethnographic research in multiracial K-12 educational settings. We examine how the processes of conducting, interpreting, and analyzing ethnographic fieldwork are impacted when researchers belong to marginalized social groups. The racial and ethnic diversity among the participants at the research settings further complicated how researcher identity influenced these processes. We want to reimagine the role of the researcher of color when conducting research about and with communities of color. We suggest that researchers can act as critical participants to create opportunities for dialog about racism, sexism, and other inequities in educational settings. By doing so, we might not only improve the quality of data collected but also develop concrete ways to challenge inequities in the moment at our research sites.