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Diaspora Studies in Education

Toward a Framework for Understanding the Experiences of Transnational Communities


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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El Grito de Loisaida: DiaspoRicans, educational sovereignty, and the colonial project



The education of Puerto Ricans in the diaspora, hereafter referred to as DiaspoRicans, has been the focus of an emerging body of scholarship, as researchers have sought to understand and remedy the persistently problematic educational outcomes of Puerto Ricans on the U.S. mainland. Puerto Ricans residing on the Island complete high school and attend and graduate from institutions of higher education at significantly higher rates than their counterparts on the mainland (Fry, 2010), which suggests that the impact of diaspora processes on academic access and achievement should be examined more closely. Beginning with the Puerto Rican Study examining the educational attainment of DiaspoRican youth in New York City between 1953 and 1957 (Cayce, 1972) and continuing with more recent research, a plethora of explanations have been forwarded to explain the underachievement of minoritized students, including DiaspoRicans, in U.S. schools. The most popular theories and remedies offered through educational policy and pedagogical practice are often deficit based, suggesting that Puerto Ricans and other minoritized groups in the U.S. lack the characteristics that lead to school success (Bourdieu & Passeron, 1977; Cayce, 1972; Glazer & Moynihan, 1963; Payne, 2001).

Often obscured in the discussion of DiaspoRican education is the colonial status of the Island and, more specifically, how colonialism is manifested in the lives of Puerto Ricans in the diaspora. Using narrative and demographic data regarding two schools in Loisaida, the historically Puerto Rican neighborhood on the Lower East Side...

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