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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 6. Conclusions


· 6 · conclusions CHAPEL HILL—After riding a cattle train through Mexico, Emilio Vicente, his mother and several others climbed under barbed wire at the Arizona border in 1997. They had come from Guatemala, and Emilio, then 6, had no concept of the danger when the group entered the United States illegally. The journey, he said, was an adventure with a purpose. The boy was making a trip, in his mind, to meet his dad. He had not seen his father since he was a baby, and had no memory of the man. His father had gone to America seeking a better life, and he had found a place for his family in Siler City, where a giant poultry processor offered jobs, and maybe a future. Now, Emilio Vicente is on another journey with a purpose. On Tuesday, he will be on a the ballot for student body president at UNC-Chapel Hill, where his candidacy has drawn national interest at a time when an immigration overhaul may be gaining momentum in Washington. (Stancill, 2014, paras. 1–4) Introduction Emilio Vicente’s story of hard work and resiliency echoes the participants’ narratives in this ethnographic study. Through family support, sacrifice, and hard work, Emilio found the network support through a mentoring program 112 counterstorytelling narratives of latino teenage boys at UNC-Chapel Hill that prepared him to challenge social/school norms and immigration policies. Like Emilio, in my study, nine Latino teenage boys voiced the communal experiences of many other Latino teenage boys navi- gating...

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