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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

No longer in the shadows: Identity, citizenship, and belonging among undocumented college students in Southern California
by Wignall, Julia, M.A., California State University, Long Beach, 2013, 124; 1527495
Abstract (Summary)

This ethnographic study looks at the development and practice of cultural citizenship among ten Mexican undocumented immigrant students at a Southern California university. Amid societal and governmental institutions such as immigration seeking to regulate citizen membership, undocumented students find a sense of belonging and incorporation through educational pathways. Not legally citizens, undocumented students encounter many obstacles to obtaining their degrees.

Consequently, students must "come out'' of the shadows to institutional gatekeepers and each other in order to access resources and public space. Through the process of coming out, undocumented students leave their liminal, undocumented status behind. Instead, they become citizens as social actors, seeking not only to participate in society--but reshape it. In this narrative, the ways undocumented students explore citizenship, "come out," and contest their status through everyday practices are examined. In developing alternative solutions to citizen-normative practices that seek to exclude the undocumented, the students are able to claim rights and space in their everyday lives and on a university campus.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Howell, Jayne
School: California State University, Long Beach
School Location: United States -- California
Source: MAI 52/05M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Cultural anthropology, Law, Higher education
Keywords: Coming out, Cultural citizenship, Mexican immigrants, Undocumented students
Publication Number: 1527495
ISBN: 978-1-303-77388-4
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