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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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“The heartbeat”: Education within and outside diaspora

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KRISTEN NEGRON WITH JASON G. IRIZARRY

Being Puerto Rican is very important to me. When I was young I learned Spanish as well as English because both were spoken in my home. My parents identify closely with their ethnic heritage and have passed on that pride to my brother and me. One thing that really helped me was that my family was able to go to Puerto Rico almost every year while I was growing up. These trips to see our family helped us stay connected and renewed our sense of pride in our cultural identities as Puerto Ricans. Since we lived in Hartford, Connecticut, it was also easy to stay attached to this identity because the majority of the people in my community are also Puerto Rican. In fact, the city of Hartford has the second largest concentration of Puerto Ricans of any city, by percentage of the population, outside of Puerto Rico. I never had to defend my Puerto Rican heritage until I left Hartford to attend a magnet school in a nearby community. I knew that stereotypes about Puerto Ricans existed, but I never really had to confront them directly, given that most of my neighbors and friends were Puerto Rican. However, as I ventured out of my community to attend a magnet school with kids from different towns and cities, I came face to face with these negative perceptions. However, because of the pride of being Puerto Rican instilled in me by...

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