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Counterstorytelling Narratives of Latino Teenage Boys

From «Vergüenza» to «Échale Ganas»


Juan A. Ríos Vega

Counterstorytelling Narratives of Latino Teenage Boys presents an ethnographic portrait of the experiences and counterstories of nine Latino teenage boys representing different cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds attending a high school in North Carolina. Using critical race theory (CRT), Latino critical theory (LatCrit), and Chicano/a epistemologies as a theoretical framework, the book unveils how differing layers of oppression shape the lives of these boys of color through the intersections of race, gender, and class. Contrary to majoritarian assumptions, cultural deficit models, and their teachers’ low expectations, this research reveals how participants used their cultural capital as a foundation to develop resiliency. The findings in this book suggest that teachers, school administrators, and staff could benefit from a better understanding of Latino/a students’ community cultural wealth as a fundamental element for these students’ academic success. Counterstorytelling Narratives of Latino Teenage Boys will be an excellent resource for teachers, school administrators, college students, and pre-service teachers. It will be useful in courses in Latino/a studies in the United States, multicultural studies, race and education studies, social justice in education, race and gender studies, and social foundations in education.


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Chapter 1. Latino boys’ counterstorytelling


· 1 · latino boys’ counterstorytelling Students of color are allowed to enter the classroom but never on an equal footing. When they walk in, they are subject to the same racial stereotypes and expectations that exist in the larger society. Students of color do not have the advantage of walk- ing into a classroom as individuals; they walk in as black, brown, or red persons with all the connotations such racialization raises in the classroom. They do not walk into a classroom where the curriculum embraces their histories. They walk into a classroom where their histories and cultures are distorted, where they feel confused about their own identities, vulnerabilities, and oppressions. (Zamudio, Russell, Rios, & Bridgeman, 2011, pp. 18–19) This book echoes the voices of many U.S.-born Latino1 and Latino immi- grant teenage boys in this country whose idea of getting an education for the betterment of their familias becomes a myth once their ethnic/cultural identities and gender are shaped by socio-historical constructs used in a culture of whiteness to oppress and to marginalize Communities of Color. Drawing on critical race theory (CRT), Latino critical theory (LatCrit), and Chicano/Chicana epistemologies as a theoretical framework, I unpack how nine Latino boys’ counterstories, revealing their experiences with race, rac- ism, and gender discrimination, which are usually silenced by majoritarian 2 counterstorytelling narratives of latino teenage boys (quantitative and culturally biased) studies, challenge Latino boys’ school failure as a norm. In this book, I want to highlight that the experiences of Latino boys and...

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