This is the Ninth in a series of Guest Posts written by Jianping (Corey) Yang. You can read an introduction to these posts HERE.

Having collected several dozen  scholarly articles on Navajo people, I am trying to find what the focuses of these studies are. The following categorization certainly cannot capture all the themes. However, it gives a general idea what social science studies are concerned with relating to the Navajo people. These focuses are education, health, identity, adolescence, and way of thinking.

The cultural aspect is emphasized in the studies on education. Studies on education involve not only students but also the superintendent and school administrators. Examples of these studies are the effects of bilingual education, superintendent turnover, and the cultural impact on school administrators’ career, etc. Although these studies were not conducted in New Mexico alone, they certainly provide insights into the education and administration of Lybrook Elementary/Middle School. Health is another major theme, which deals with obesity, drinking, mental health, and so on. Other articles look at Navajo adolescence focusing on cultural identity, pregnancy, etc.; and Navajo way of thinking, such as in terms of wellness.

These studies involve both urban and rural areas. They particularly emphasize the influence of Navajo culture on people’s lives. Jill, Randy and I already talked a lot about these topics which also apply to the area where we live. I believe they are valuable in providing insights into the transformation of Navajo community in this area.