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Ethnographic field essay

He speaks fluent Spanish on a conversational level, but he tells me that he is much better equipped to write a paper in English than Spanish. He was telling me about a university course in multiculturalism which is required for teacher education. He is the only Hispanic in the class. Not only is he the only Hispanic, but he is the only member of a minority group. There aren't even any African American students in the class.

I asked him how he felt, as part of a minority group, to be in a class about minority groups. Obviously, he was not pleased to be the lone minority. Part of his displeasure came from the fact that the instructor prefaced every sentence with the disclaimer, "They [the multicultural activists] tell us that . . ." The instructor would then go on to dismiss most of the textbook's claims with counterclaims that such multicultural demands were not practicable in view of the current curriculum, political climate, and so on. It seemed to me that if there ever was an argument for the need for multiculturalism, this instructor would be the perfect candidate.

Jacques said that he could feel a conservative tone in the class from the onset. Other students were talking about "feminazis," to borrow Rush Limbaugh's term for proactive feminists, the impracticability of being all things to all people, and the growing number of "those people" who were in the country illegally. He was tel


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