Advertisement

Privileged and Undocumented: Toward a Borderland Love Ethic

Chapter
  • 450 Downloads

Abstract

In this chapter, I further explore my positionality, moving from the personal to the academic as I discuss the tensions of what it means to be a “deserving” native researcher. In this way, I present my conceptual framework from which my writing stems and offer a theoretical situatedness as researcher. I begin by experimenting with the meaning of a borderland love ethic as a theoretical framework that centers on nurturing our strength to love in spaces of contention, tolerance of ambiguity as a revolutionary virtue, and humbly beginning anew again and again. Drawing from an extended interview with a participant of a larger study about undocumented students, I describe our positionalities with respect to privilege and undocumented status as the central foci. I use my own dilemma of understanding and reconciling my position as a once undocumented immigrant to a now hyperdocumented (Chang, Harvard Educational Review, 81(3), 508–520, 2011) native researcher, studying undocumented people, to work through the possibility of a borderland love ethic. Relying primarily on the theoretical works of Anzaldúa (Borderlands: La frontera—The new mestiza. San Francisco: Aunt Lute Books, 1987), Darder (Teaching as an act of love: Reflections on Paolo Freire and his contributions to our lives and our work. In A. Darder, M. Baltodano, & R. D. Torres (Eds.), The critical pedagogy reader. New York: Routledge, 2003), and hooks (All about love. New York: First Perennial, 2000). I ask how we as scholars enact love in our research amidst our seemingly contradictory positions of oppression and privilege. I contend that one possibility is by employing a borderland love ethic that embraces ambiguity, rejects binary positions, and humbly acknowledges our constant state of arriving, both as researchers and participants.

References

  1. Abrego, L. (2014). Sacrificing families: Navigating laws, labor and love across borders. Stanford: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
  2. Abu-Lughod, J. (1991). Writing against culture. In R. Fox (Ed.), Recapturing anthropology (pp. 466–479). Santa Fe: School of American Research Press.Google Scholar
  3. Anzaldúa, G. (1987). Borderlands: La frontera—the new mestiza. San Francisco: Aunt Lute Books.Google Scholar
  4. Chang, A. (2011). Undocumented to hyperdocumented: A jornada of protection, papers, and PhD status. Harvard Educational Review, 81(3), 508–520.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Chang, A. (2015). Privileged and undocumented: Toward a borderland love ethic. Association of American Educators, 9(2), 6–17.Google Scholar
  6. Chavez, K. (2013). Queer migration politics: Activist rhetoric and coalitional possibilities. Chicago: University of Illinois Press.Google Scholar
  7. Coll, K. (2004). Necesidades y Problemas: Immigrant Latina vernaculars of belonging, coalition and citizenship in San Francisco, California. Latino Studies, 2, 186–209.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Crenshaw, K. W. (1991). Mapping the margins: Intersectionality, identity politics, and violence against women of color. Stanford Law Review, 43(6), 1241–1299.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Darder, A. (2003). Teaching as an act of love: Reflections on Paolo Freire and his contributions to our lives and our work. In A. Darder, M. Baltodano, & R. D. Torres (Eds.), The critical pedagogy reader. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  10. Dowbor, L. (1997). Preface to pedagogy of the heart by P. Freire. New York: Continuum.Google Scholar
  11. Freire, P. (1993). Pedagogy of the city. New York: Continuum.Google Scholar
  12. Freire, P. (1998). Pedagogy of freedom: Ethics, democracy, and civic courage. Lanham: Rowman and Littlefield.Google Scholar
  13. Greenwood, D. J., & Levin, M. (1998). Reform of the social sciences and of universities through action research. In N. Denzin (Ed.), The handbook of qualitative research (Vol. 3, pp. 43–64). Thousand Oaks: Sage.Google Scholar
  14. Gutiérrez y Muhs, G., Flores Niemann, Y., González, C. G., & Harris, A. (Eds.). (2012). Presumed incompetent: The intersections of race and class for women in academia. Boulder: University Press of Colorado.Google Scholar
  15. Heidbrink, L. (2014). Migrant Youth, transnational families, and the state: Care and contested interests. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. hooks, b. (1994). Teaching to transgress. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  17. hooks, b. (2000). All about love. New York: First Perennial.Google Scholar
  18. Jacob, M. (2006). When a native “goes researcher”: Notes from the North American indigenous games. The American Behavioral Scientist, 50(4), 450–461.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. King, Jr., M. L. (1957, November 7). Loving your enemies. Delivered at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church Montgomery, Alabama.Google Scholar
  20. Narayan, K. (1993). How native is a “native” anthropologist? American Anthropological Association, 95(3), 671–686.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Negrón-Gonzales, G. (2014). Undocumented, unafraid and unapologetic: Re-articulatory practices and migrant youth “illegality”. Latino Studies, 12(2), 259–278.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Villenas, S. (1996). The colonizer/colonized Chicana ethnographer: Identity, marginalization, and co-optation in the field. Harvard Educational Review, 66(4), 711–731.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Zavella, P. (1996). Feminist insider dilemmas: Constructing ethnic identity with Chicana informants. In D. L. Wolf (Ed.), Feminist dilemmas in fieldwork (pp. 158–159). Boulder: Westview.Google Scholar
  24. Zinn, M. B. (1979). Field research in minority communities: Ethical, methodological, and political observations by an insider. Social Problems, 27(2), 209–219.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of EducationLoyola University School of EducationChicagoUSA

Personalised recommendations