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Youth Held at the Border-Immigration, Education & the Politi

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Zahra Ismail

on 28 November 2013

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Transcript of Youth Held at the Border-Immigration, Education & the Politi

Youth Held at the Border-Immigration, Education & the Politics of Inclusion: A Review
Research Questions
Focused on the politics of inclusion (and exclusion):

*How are immigrant youth positioned in U.S. society?

*What are the conditions of inclusion--and how are these conditions named, maintained and protected-and by whom?

*
"Why they got it so good? They only speak one language and only know one place right? We all [Immigrant youth] have to know 3 or 4. Or five. Can you explain that to me?"
Methodology
*Qualitative study, narrative-led (story-telling), advocacy/participatory assumptions approach. 6 years in close contact with school. Youth participants as co-researchers; study done in collaboration. Received permission from youth to tell their stories.

*Used: Interviews one-on-one relationships, in classroom/school observation advocate for students. Was able to see how issue was perceived by both insiders and outsiders.

*Chapters start with ethnographic description, followed by analysis of the context.

*First set of chapters focus on high school and the post-secondary years: explore how societal factors intersect with education.

*Second set of chapters explore immigrant youth experiences & situate them within the broader global context: How are privileged and marginalized youth positioned?


Findings
Focus was to illuminate the political struggle for inclusion,and how youth encounter many different roadblocks and borders in their lives in the U.S. It was also to humanize youth stories by highlighting their goals, ambitions & dreams:

*Daily realities & social conditions that shape choice, access & opportunities and create restrictions for advancement in society.
*Challenges for being able to take advantage of opportunities
* Perceptions & stereotyping (clumping).
*A cycle of flawed policies & practices that fail to address the needs, issues and realities of low income immigrants and provide effective pathways to citizenship.
*Disjuncture between test scores and real life realities. College access.
*Connection between immigration and larger forces of economics & politics.
*Challenges for documentation & realities which come with documentation.
*Understanding of the system, our own places within the system.
* Segregation/role of privilege-structures/patterns of citizenship, race, gender & class

Discussion
The study explored how youth are positioned in order to help us understand the complexities around who succeeds and who doesn't. It provided a critical view of meritocracy and highlighted how much and how often western conceptions fall short.

Goal:
Taking from this study in order to interrupt the inequities which structure society under a rhetoric of inclusion, diversity & opportunity.

Out of the study an internship program was developed that combined professional opportunities (shifting contact zones) with critical education about society. Challenging misconceptions.

What the author highlights and what becomes clear is that immigrant youth are severely under-researched.
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