chapter  2
14 Pages

La mojada y el coyote: Experiences of a Wetback Researcher

As a graduate student, I learned the "proper ways" of conducting research and was socialized to the importance of researcher objectivity. The teaching styles and curriculum utilized in many of my methodology courses led me to believe that research was very much like doing mathematics; that is, if I followed a particular sequence of steps, I would be rewarded with the right answer. The formula involved selecting a topic, picking a site, identifying a sample, collecting and analyzing the data, and writing up the findings. Rarely was there any discussion in these classes of the ways in which a researcher's gender and/or race and ethnicity mediated these steps. Fortunately, I now realize that many of the notions I was taught early in my graduate career have been vigorously critiqued by a number of scholars. Many feminist researchers (Fine, 1994; Lather, 1994; Patai, 1994; Warren, 1988) and researchers of color (Foster, 1994; Rosaldo, 1989; Stanfield, 1993a, 1993b, 1994; Villenas, 1996) have introduced alternative research methodologies that have created spaces for researchers whose backgrounds and perspectives differ from those who have historically dominated the field of educational research.