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ERIC Number: ED515589
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Mar
Pages: 160
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-4384-3057-7
Unresolved Identities: Discourse, Ambivalence, and Urban Immigrant Students. SUNY Series, Second Thoughts--New Theoretical Formations
Ngo, Bic
SUNY Press
In her ethnographic study of Lao American students at an urban, public high school, Bic Ngo shows how simplistic accounts of these students smooth over unfinished, precarious identities and contested social relations. Exploring the ways that immigrant youth identities are shaped by dominant discourses that simplify and confine their experiences within binary categories of good/bad, traditional/modern, and success/failure, she unmasks and examines the stories we tell about them, and unsettles the hegemony of discourses that frame identities within discrete dualisms. Rather than cohesive, the identity negotiations of Lao American students are responses that modify, resist, or echo these discourses. Ngo argues that while Lao American students are changing what it means to be "urban" and "immigrant" youth, most people are unable to read them as doing so, and instead see the youth as confused, backward, and problematic. By illuminating the discursive practices of identity, this study underscores the need to conceptualize urban, immigrant identities as contradictory, fractured, and unresolved. Following a forward, this book contains: (1) Introduction; (2) Urban Schools as War Zones; (3) War Babies and Comeback Kids; (4) Confining Immigrant Identities; (5) Unresolved Identities; and (6) Resisting Resolution. Appended are: (1) Undercutting the Inside/Outside Opposition; and (2) A Note on Methodology. Notes, references and an index are also included.
SUNY Press. State University of New York, 22 Corporate Woods Boulevard 3rd Floor, Albany, NY 12211. Tel: 866-430-7869; Tel: 518-472-5000; Fax: 518-472-5038; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Books; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; Higher Education; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A