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Applied Linguistics Review

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Preparing the milk and honey: between ethnography and academia as a racially minoritised academic

Kamran Khan
Published Online: 2018-04-18 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/applirev-2017-0120


This paper focuses on the development of an academic of colour between ethnographic fieldwork and becoming an academic. In terms of data collection, this study demonstrates the complexities and multiple positionalities ascribed and assumed within fieldwork which question the stability of the insider/outsider dichotomy. These positionalities range from being a Muslim ‘brother’ to being aligned with Government security. Being Muslim and male also allowed for entrance in areas of the field which were exclusively for Muslim males. While fieldwork presented certain complexities, being a person of colour and Muslim in academia presents many more. A number of studies have demonstrated the structural whiteness of academia and thus, dealing with this as an academic of colour require particular skills and actions. I share my experiences of navigating academia as a person of colour and question the role of whiteness within ethnographically oriented representative groups which are exclusively white and who represent an academic audience for ethnographic scholarship.

Keywords: ethnography; racism; diversity; whiteness; positionality


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About the article

Published Online: 2018-04-18

Citation Information: Applied Linguistics Review, ISSN (Online) 1868-6311, ISSN (Print) 1868-6303, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/applirev-2017-0120.

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