chapter  7
20 Pages

A Landscape with Multiple Views: Research in Pueblo Communities

Some of the research paradigms and perspectives that academia is currently discussing as "emerging" (in particular, see Denzin & Lincoln, 1994; LeCompte & Preissle, 1993; Lincoln & Guba, 1985) are similar to ancient, traditional Pueblo ways of understanding the world. As with these "new" paradigms and perspectives, Pueblo people acknowledge that subjective ways of knowing are valuable (and, in fact, that human beings are not-and should not be--objective); that multiple, sometimes even contradictory, viewpoints are possible and what is true may vary from person to person, from culture to culture; that the stories people tell have multiple levels of meaning, and each time these stories are told new knowledge is gained.3 Therefore it is both through my training as an academic researcher and as a member of a Pueblo that I must recognize the importance of subjectivity and multiple understandings in my research with Pueblo communities. In these ways, I combine two of the multiple parts of who I am: Pueblo person and academic. However, the complexity inherent in this combination is not resolved; there are aspects of ambiguity in my roles both of Pueblo member and academic, as well as in the intersection of these two. This chapter, based on my experiences doing research in Pueblo communities, explores sorting through the levels of comfort and discomfort I experience in these dual roles (certainly realizing I have other roles as well: wife, mother, sister, daughter, niece, aunt, employee, etc.).