From First-Person Inquiry to Second-Person Dialogue: A Response to the European-American Collaborative Challenging Whiteness
The Collaborative raises three areas in which more dialogue would be useful. First, they express a desire for more data about how I was seen by my informants of color. They use that point to raise broader questions about validity: How can I, as a white person, know what is not being said by my informants of color? How can I be sure that my informants were candid with me, given the ‘strong taboos that prohibit revealing oneself . . . to the white world'? Second, they point out that my dissertation research was not emancipatory or mutual: it was a relatively traditional qualitative design, with a clear demarcation between researcher and researched. Finally, they raise the concept of ‘critical humility' and the spirit of inquiry in doing this work. I will address each of these areas in turn.