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ERIC Number: ED521765
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 327
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1241-3372-0
The Negotiation of Lived Spaces by Unauthorized College Aged Youth
Jacobo, Rodolfo
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, The Claremont Graduate University and San Diego State University
Throughout the United States, undocumented students live in constant fear of their legal status being disclosed, and despite their educational success and professional objectives, face uncertainty and an unknown future. This study has put forward the question of what are the effects of the symbiotic relationship of a historical anti-Mexican sentiment and a failed U.S. immigration policy, on the negotiation of spaces by college age Mexican origin undocumented students. The study research question asked: What are the existing social-psychological forces that shape the daily-lived experiences and negotiated spaces of unauthorized youth, in particular, those pursuing access to higher levels of education in the United States? The conceptual framework of the study used two dimensions. The first consisting of explicit and implicit modes of behavior. The second dimension focused on how students navigate between regulated and unregulated spaces in their communities. From a pool of 36, eight unauthorized college age students participated in the study. The criteria for selection included: being a Latino/a bilingual, bicultural and bi-literate college age students; attending a two-year or four-year university in Southern California and living in the United States as undocumented residents for at least twelve years. Qualitative case study methodology served to document the lived experiences of unauthorized youth using interviews, autobiographies, and face-to-face meetings. Data on each of the eight participants were analyzed to identify themes. The interactive process with participants consisted of data collection, data display, reflection on the data, data coding, data reduction, generation of themes and thematic interpretation. The findings derived from triangulated qualitative approaches informed the study on how unauthorized youth consistently negotiate their lived spaces. One moment they may be gifted college students in an unregulated legal space (college campus) and the very next they are committing a federal crime by living in the United States unauthorized (outside of college campus). Eight themes described the explicit and implicit tensions of lived space: identity, membership, micro-aggressions, trauma, resiliency-adaptability, pragmatism, agency, family, and structural violence. Furthermore, four additional concepts described their regulated and unregulated legal space in the form of social-psychological trauma, namely living in ambivalence, encapsulation, dissonance, and rejection. Given that both the U.S. and the Mexican governments have done little to stop the flow of unauthorized immigration accentuating the economic benefits of both nations, the study provides recommendations for further research. Specifically on the human condition of unauthorized college attending youth and discourse over the criminalization and virtual internment of undocumented youth in the United States. [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:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California