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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Transformative Trajectories of First-generation Immigrant Youth Activists
by Yee, Mary Peggy, Ed.D., University of Pennsylvania, 2018, 444; 10840716
Abstract (Summary)

This qualitative multi-case study examines how four first generation Asian immigrant high school students, who encountered interracial school violence and embraced political activism, tried to make a new life in a large U.S. city under adverse circumstances. A phenomenological study extending over four years, this work functions both as counternarrative to prevalent characterizations of foreign-born Asian urban youth as well as an additional chapter in the writings on youth activism and its implications for not only personal development but for social transformation of minoritized and subjugated communities. In particular, I looked at how political activism affected the lives of these four young people; how they mobilized to effect institutional change in their high school and district; and how their activist identities and literacies came into play as they negotiated the world from high school to college or work. I used as analytical lenses Bourdieusian social theory, critical feminist theory, Freirean pedagogy (1970/2010), and the concepts of social justice youth development (Ginwright & Cammerota, 2002), culturally sustaining pedagogy (Paris & Alim, 2017), youth critical literacies (Morrell, 2008), and activist identities (Campano & Simon, 2013) to understand immigrant youth identity and agency. Methodologically, I employed ethnographic methods such as interviews, focus groups, field notes, memos, and examination archival sources, incorporating the tenets of “humanizing research” (Paris & Winn, 2014) to minimize the distance between researcher and participant. The case studies provide more nuanced understandings of the interrelated dynamics of school, community, family and society at large in the lives of first generation immigrant young people,

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Gadsden, Vivian L.
Commitee: Campano, H. Gerald, Harper, Shaun R.
School: University of Pennsylvania
Department: Reading, Writing, Literacy
School Location: United States -- Pennsylvania
Source: DAI-A 80/01(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Secondary education
Keywords: Asian community, Education, Immigrants, School violence, Social justice, Youth activism
Publication Number: 10840716
ISBN: 978-0-438-33918-7
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