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A bilingual, bicultural interpreter and researcher navigates blurry boundaries and intersectionality

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A researcher reflects using a close reading of interview transcripts and description to share what happened while participating in multiple roles in a larger ethnographic study of the acculturation process of deaf students in kindergarten classrooms in three countries. The

A researcher reflects using a close reading of interview transcripts and description to share what happened while participating in multiple roles in a larger ethnographic study of the acculturation process of deaf students in kindergarten classrooms in three countries. The course of this paper will focus on three instances that took place in Japan and America. The analysis of these examples will bring to light the concept of taking on multiple roles, including graduate research assistant, interpreter, cultural mediator, and sociolinguistic consultant within a research project serving to uncover challenging personal and professional dilemmas and crossing boundaries; the dual roles, interpreter and researcher being the primary focus. This analysis results in a brief look at a thought provoking, yet evolving task of the researcher/interpreter. Maintaining multiple roles in the study the researcher is able to potentially identify and contribute "hidden" knowledge that may have been overlooked by other members of the research team. Balancing these different roles become key implications when interpreting practice, ethical boundaries, and participant research at times the lines of separation are blurred.

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2011

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Counter-narratives of African American academic persistence: identity maps and funds of knowledge

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Over 150 years since the abolition of slavery, African Americans still lack equal access to education and other quality of life markers. However, a slow increase in African American students pursuing and obtaining higher education demonstrates the progress of African

Over 150 years since the abolition of slavery, African Americans still lack equal access to education and other quality of life markers. However, a slow increase in African American students pursuing and obtaining higher education demonstrates the progress of African American academic success. Although still not at an equitable level, this progress, and the voices of success are often muted by the majoritarian narrative of African American student failure. This research focuses on African American student success and examines the specific socio-cultural characteristics and processes that shape the ways in which African American students develop their own counter-narratives to persist and gain access to higher education. This study utilizes narrative inquiry in the form of interviews, artifacts collection and student-drawn identity maps to understand the factors that influence the development of counter-narratives. The primary research questions included: What narratives did African American students tell themselves to help them persist in school, attain a high school diploma and pursue higher education? How did they develop their narratives? How did their narratives influence their educational experiences? Five African American students who attended an elite public university in the southwest United States participated in four to five interviews ranging from six to ten hours in total. Through the analysis of their stories, the importance of culture and context were clear. Specifically their social support systems including their parents, siblings, teachers and mentors, significantly influenced their identity development and human agency. The findings also point to a critical path forward: if society commits to supporting African American student success, then shine a light on stories of persistence and potential rather than shortcomings and failures.

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2016