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Preschool and Im/migrants in Five Countries

England, France, Germany, Italy and United States of America


Edited By Joseph Tobin

A significant and growing percentage of the children enrolled in early childhood education and care (ECEC) programs in Europe and the United States are children of recent im/migrants. For most young (3–5 years old) children of parents who have come from other countries, ECEC settings are the first context in which they come face to face with differences between the culture of home and the public culture of their new country. For parents who have recently im/migrated to a new country, enrolling their child in an early childhood program is a key moment where cultural values of their home and adopted culture come into contact and, often, conflict. For countries with high rates of im/migration, ECEC programs are key sites for enacting national goals for social inclusion and the creation of new citizens. And yet the field of early childhood education has conducted too little research on the experience of im/migrant children, their families, and their teachers.

This book tells the story of our study of beliefs about early childhood education of im/migrant parents and of the practitioners who teach and care for their young children. It is simultaneously a study of im/migration seen from the perspective of early childhood education and of early childhood education seen from the perspective of im/migration. The book answers the questions: What do im/migrant parents want for their children in ECEC programs? How are the perspectives of im/migrant parents like and unalike the perspectives of their children’s preschool teachers and of non-immigrant parents? How are England, France, Germany, Italy, and the United States using ECEC settings to incorporate im/migrant children and their families into their new society? What can all five countries do better?

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Chapter 12. “I’m Not from Here or There”. Cultural Citizenship of Mexican Immigrant Parents and Children in the US


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“I’m Not from Here or There”

Cultural Citizenship of Mexican Immigrant Parents and Children in the US


Associate Professor, School of Social Transform, Arizona State University (United States)

Cultural citizenship is a term that was introduced in the mid-1990s by the Latino Cultural Studies Working Group. Renato Rosaldo (1994) juxtaposed the words “cultural” and “citizenship” in order for each to question the other and to emphasize the cultural dimension of citizenship, which is usually thought of as a legal rather than also as a cultural concept. He points out that evidence for the cultural constructedness of citizenship can be seen in the variations from country to country in how citizenship is defined and what it takes to become a citizen. Rosaldo (1994) also exposes the incoherence and instability of the concept of citizenship by pointing out that there are degrees of citizenship and various forms of second-class citizenship, such as the stages legal immigrants in the US pass through on their way to “full” citizenship – e.g. “green card,” “permanent resident alien,” “naturalized citizen,” etc.). Citizenship, in its ideal form, would suggest that all citizens of a nation-state have equal rights and status. The premise that all are equal falls apart in reality, as we can see when we reflect on the history of civil rights for non-dominant groups of citizens, including woman and people of color in the US Suffrage, property rights,...

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