Confronting anthropology's silencing praxis: Speaking of/from a Chicana consciousness

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18 Scopus citations


In this article, the author explores how both normative and oppositional stances contribute to a silencing praxis in anthropology. She suggests that anthropology as a discipline and as an institution works hard to silence due to its history, its theoretical nature, and its methods that require static and uncomplicated single identities of its subjects and theoreticians. The practice and theory of anthropology contradict each other. Its practice demands an ethnographer-Native informer dyad, placing the ethnographer as the knower while only valuing the knowledge of the Native. Its theory values native knowledge and exalts diversity vis-à-vis cultural relativism. Opposing either theory or practice underscores the paradox. As a Chicana anthropologist, the author experiences a tricky conflation of these competing agendas. She recommends exposing these limitations and actively reclaiming the very voice and epistemology that has been denounced to persist in the method and efficacy of anthropology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15-40
Number of pages26
JournalQualitative Inquiry
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

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