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ERIC Number: ED514754
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 261
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1097-2266-6
Suenos Indocumentados: Using LatCrit to Explore the Testimonios of Undocumented and U.S. Born Chicana College Students on Discourses of Racist Nativism in Education
Huber, Lindsay Perez
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of California, Los Angeles
Latina/o critical race theory (LatCrit) is used as an overarching framework that examines the intersectionality of race, class, and gender while also acknowledging the unique forms of subordination within the Latina/o community based on immigration status, language, phenotype, and ethnicity. LatCrit allows for the specific examination of race and immigration status and has led to the development of racist nativism, a conceptual tool used to examine the intersectionalities that emerge in the experiences of undocumented communities. It is at the intersections of race, immigration status, gender and class that discourses of racist nativism exist, guiding dominant perceptions, understandings and knowledge about undocumented immigrants in the U.S. This study explores how these discourses emerge in the educational trajectories of Chicana students. This study also explores the similarities and differences in the experiences of the undocumented and U.S. born women, and the strategies the women use to navigate higher education despite the obstacles they encounter. This study is positioned within a Chicana feminist epistemology which acknowledges Chicana ways of knowing shaped by personal, academic, and professional experiences, as well as the analytic processes we engage in our research. Positioned within this epistemological stance and guided by a LatCrit framework, the methodological approach of "testimonio" is used to conduct, collect and analyze forty "testimonio" interviews and two focus groups with ten undocumented and ten U.S. born Chicana undergraduate students attending a public, four-year research university in California. The analysis revealed that discourses of racist nativism become lived through discursive practices of difference the women experienced throughout their educational careers. These practices included English dominance, exclusion, and negative perceptions of the women that led to real and serious consequences. The consequences of discursive practices of difference, guided by larger racist nativist discourses were also explored. These consequences manifested as institutional, personal and interpersonal consequences which caused constraints on educational access and opportunity, hindered the women's physical and psychological well-being, and caused conflict between the women and their peers. Finally, through a community cultural wealth lens, this study explored the ways the women drew from multiple skills, abilities, resources, and knowledge that existed within their families and communities to survive, navigate, thrive, and resist in higher education. I also explore an additional form of capital which emerged from the analysis, spiritual capital. I conclude this dissertation with theoretical and methodological contributions to the field, as well as contributions for educational policy and practice and immigration advocacy. Theoretical contributions include further developing the conceptual framework of racist nativism by using empirical data to examine the ways racist nativism emerges in lived experiences of Chicana students. Methodological contributions discussed include the use of testimonio as LatCrit methodology in educational research. Contributions to educational policy and practice provide recommendations for educators and institutional agents on how we can begin to disrupt racist nativist discourses in school and college classrooms. Contributions to immigration advocacy provide steps we can take in continuing the struggle for the rights of undocumented immigrant students, families and communities which include supporting the federal DREAM Act and a call to reframe the immigration debate towards a human rights frame--one that reclaims the humanity of undocumented immigrants and recognizes all people have the inherent right to be treated with dignity and respect, have their strengths be recognized and contributions to society acknowledged. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California