Back to Search Results

The Messiness of (De)Coloniality: An Autoethnography of the Cross-Cultural Researcher

Amber Kelley

2021 United States

In this paper I explore the complexity of psychological cross-cultural research, particularly noting the ways in which cross-cultural mental health research and the global mental health movement are still driven by Western conceptualizations of mental health. By taking up decolonial theory through autoethnographic methods, I consider the responsibility, ethics, and tensions in conducting cross-cultural mental health research, particularly as a White researcher with non-White, non-Western participants. Ongoing reflexivity as a researcher and practitioner offers the opportunity to engage in culturally responsive practices that continue challenging the coloniality of Western psychology which can pervade global mental health studies when unchecked. I put forth liberatory practices such as attending to insider voices and engaging in relational practices between researcher and participants as opportunities for cross-cultural researchers to engage in rigorous research that is responsive to the local culture and active in decolonizing the field of psychological and mental health research.

autoethnography, cross cultural research, decolonization