Show Less
Restricted access

Immigration, Motherhood and Parental Involvement

Narratives of Communal Agency in the Face of Power Asymmetry


Lilian Cibils

Immigration, Motherhood and Parental Involvement is based on the vivid accounts of seven Latina immigrant women of how they learned to navigate the school system in the rural southwest of the United States. Their stories are presented within several contexts, the socio-political conditions of immigration overarching them all. The process of acquiring a new socio-cultural script offers a common frame to the narratives, which illustrate the central role of the community in finding spaces for agency in circumstances of vulnerability. As a contribution to educational theory, this book explores the official discourse of parental involvement within the broader context of social policy by pointing to a common underlying ideal parent norm across areas of policy related to family and women. It also revisits the concept of parental involvement through contrasting ideologies of motherhood, as it applies the concept of participation parity in everyday institutional interactions as a fundamental measure of social justice. Immigration, Motherhood and Parental Involvement offers deep insight into the institutionalized patterns of formal inclusion/informal exclusion in the relationship of schools with Latina immigrant mothers, even within the best intended programs. Its focus on the persistent need for the implementation of culturally and linguistically sensitive approaches to home-school relations makes this a must-read for undergraduate and graduate courses in teacher education, education leadership and sociology of education. Teachers, administrators and policymakers committed to moving away from the prevalent view of mothers as people who mainly need to be educated also need to read this book.

Show Summary Details
Restricted access

Epilogue: Educational Motherwork Beyond Grade School



Educational Motherwork Beyond Grade School

Educational motherwork and all the support it involves do not end with high school graduation. The seven women I interviewed had dreams for their children’s future and were already witnessing the results of their hard work. Some of the stories which stood out the most for the evident excitement and pride in the mothers’ voices were about their hope and support for their children’s education beyond high school. We will conclude with Silvia, Brenda, Patricia and Luisa sharing theirs.

Throughout her interviews, Silvia spoke with pride about her young daughter’s qualities and her progress in school, stressing her high level of motivation. Silvia described Sarina’s constant curiosity and keen awareness of everything that is going on around her, often manifested in incisive questions or comments. On our last interview, Silvia ended her story about her first-­grader by mentioning how on her own Sarina has already made up her mind that she will be going off to college once she graduates from high school.

Silvia: Ella dice que cuando ella salga de la “high school”, dice: “Mami, cuando yo salga yo no voy a vivir aquí.” Le digo: “Y ¿dónde vas a ir a vivir?” Dice: “Me voy a ir vivir a Puentes porque voy a ir a estudiar. Voy a ir al colegio a estudiar. Yo no voy a estar aquí,” dice. Y le digo: “Y ¿qué vas a hacer sin tus papás...

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.

Do you have any questions? Contact us.

Or login to access all content.