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Constructing a postcolonial feminist ethnography

Jennifer Manning (College of Business, Dublin Institute of Technology, Dublin, Ireland)

Journal of Organizational Ethnography

ISSN: 2046-6749

Article publication date: 11 July 2016




The paper details the construction of a postcolonial feminist approach to ethnography; providing insight into how the researcher developed her ethnographic approach based on her theoretical framework and demonstrating how she undertook this research. Specifically, the purpose of this paper is to outline how the researcher identified positionality and representation as the primary challenges of undertaking a postcolonial feminist ethnography with marginalised Maya women in Guatemala, and how she addressed these complexities in the field.


This postcolonial feminist ethnography was conducted over a three-month period in the rural highlands of Sololá, Guatemala. This approach bridges the intersections of postcolonial, feminist, critical and reflexive research.


The account presented in this paper offers insight into the theoretical development of a postcolonial feminist ethnography and its implementation in practice. The researcher demonstrates the importance of addressing the issues of positionality and representation to overcome differences in position, privilege and power when building relationships with participants, and to ensure the participants and their knowledge are accurately represented.


This paper contributes to the growing interest in postcolonial research and proposes a postcolonial feminist ethnography as an alternative approach for engaging in research with the marginalised Other.



This paper is written with the author sincerest gratitude to the Maya women, and their families, of the co-operatives in the Sololá Department of Guatemala who participated in this research.


Manning, J. (2016), "Constructing a postcolonial feminist ethnography", Journal of Organizational Ethnography, Vol. 5 No. 2, pp. 90-105.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2016, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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