Toward an Ethical Reflective Practice of a Theory in the Flesh: Embodied Subjectivities in a Youth Participatory Action Research Mural Project

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John Wiley & Sons, Inc.


The focus of this paper is to demonstrate how embodied subjectivities shape research experiences. Through an autoethnography of my involvement in a Youth Participatory Action Research (YPAR) after-school program with low-income and working-class youth of Color from predominantly Latinx communities I examined my embodied subjectivities, via an ethical reflective practice, as these surfaced in the research context. Autoethnography is presented as a tool to facilitate an ethical reflective practice that aligns with heart-centered work. Drawing from an epistemology of a theory in the flesh (Anzaldúa & Moraga, 1981), embodied subjectivities are defined by the lived experiences felt and expressed through the body, identities, and positionalities of the researcher. The article concludes with implications for the development of community psychology competencies that attend to the researcher's embodied subjectivities.