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When Discourses Collide

An Ethnography of Migrant Children at Home and in School

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Marianne Exum Lopez

When Discourses Collide examines the discourse systems at work and play for three fifth grade migrant boys during an apple harvest season in south central Pennsylvania. The study is a critical ethnography that explores the lives of these children as they interacted in their families, in their friendships, with their teachers, and with their classmates. The book has a certain approachability that allows the reader to enter the homes of these children and know their families. It then moves into the classroom and seeks to address the issue of how dominant mainstream discourses overpower the discourses of marginalized children. Through countless examples, the author reveals discourse «collisions» that help to explain why schooling was such a frustrating experience for these boys, whose home language and home culture did not reflect that of the mainstream.