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Diaspora Studies in Education

Toward a Framework for Understanding the Experiences of Transnational Communities

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Edited By Rosalie Rolón-Dow and Jason G. Irizarry

The Latino/a diaspora is undoubtedly transforming the demographics and cultural geographies of the United States. Diaspora Studies in Education advances an active use of the concept of «diaspora», focusing on processes that impact the diasporization of the Latino/a population, and more specifically, examining those diasporization processes in the arena of education. Focusing on the education of Puerto Ricans, the second largest Latino/a subgroup, the authors of this volume elucidate themes that are useful not only for those concerned with the education of Puerto Rican youth but also applicable to the study of other diasporic communities. The book is useful as a text in a variety of undergraduate and graduate courses, including foundations of education, multicultural education, anthropology of education, and introductory courses in Latino and ethnic studies departments.
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Finding community cultural wealth in diaspora: A LatCrit analysis

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ROSALIE ROLÓN-DOW

I still say I got yanked away from Puerto Rico, [and] I always had the desire to come back. Even after I understood why my mom had to do it, I still had that feeling that I want[ed] to come back.… You know, when I’m in the States, I feel Puerto Rico is my home. When I’m in Puerto Rico, even though I still feel Puerto Rico is my home, I miss the States. I need both. (Samuel Calderón,1 University of Puerto Rico student)

Transnational sensibilities such as those described by Samuel Calderón are forged by Puerto Ricans in the context of an unresolved and long-standing colonial relationship between the United States and Puerto Rico. This relationship facilitates a diaspora project of grand magnitude that is characterized by ongoing circular migration patterns, the development of networks across Puerto Rican communities in the United States and Puerto Rico, and the production of hybrid identity practices (Duany, 2007; Flores, 2009; Grosfoguel, 1999). The impact of diaspora processes is wide-ranging, evident in various arenas of Puerto Rican life including schooling.

In this chapter, I explore the experiences of students who completed some or all of their schooling in the United States and returned to Puerto Rico to pursue their undergraduate studies at the University of Puerto Rico (UPR). Community cultural wealth, a conceptual framework developed by Yosso (2005), is helpful in my analysis because it allows me to...

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