Undocumented students find themselves on continuously shifting ground, calibrating each decision they make in accordance with or as a strategic reaction to the existing political climate. Specifically, some undocumented students find themselves in an ongoing internal battle to fashion an identity that both counters the pervasive stereotypes of undocumented people through a process of hyperdocumentation (Chang in Harv Educ Rev 81(3):508–520, 2011), while simultaneously bearing the weight of fierce anti-immigrant sentiment. In this article, we ask the following questions: How do Latinx undocumented students navigate educational spaces? In what ways do their legal statuses impact the production of their identities? How do they exert agency within the parameters of their undocumented status? In answering these questions, we explore the ways in which some undocumented students figure—or take agency in shaping meaning of—their worlds, find identity in their education, and leverage community cultural wealth (Yosso in Race Ethn Educ 8(1):69–91, 2005) as a source of critical hope and resilience in their quest to achieve the ever-nebulous American Dream.
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We intentionally leverage the term “Latinx” as a gender-neutral demographic category that includes any person of Latin American origin or descent. As Baez notes, “La flexión de género en “x” apunta a contrastar críticamente el protocolo hegemónico de la construcción masculina del sujeto universal. No es la mera inclusión -políticamente correcta- de “ellos y ellas”, sino una crítica al sentido distribucionista y prescriptivo de lo masculino y lo femenino en el uso hegemónico y habitual de la gramática castellana para referirse a lxs sujetxs. La incomodidad que genera la "x" en la lectura y la pronunciación puede parangonarse con la incomodidad que sienten aquellxs que no se sienten -parcial o totalmente- representadxs/interpeladxs ni por el ‘ellos’ ni por el ‘ellas’” (p. 2). English translation: The gender bending in “x” aims to critically contrast the hegemonic protocol in the male construction of the universal subject. It is not the mere inclusion—politically correct—of they (him) (male) and they (her) (female) but a critique of the distributive and prescriptive sense of the male and the female in the hegemonic and habitual use of the Spanish Grammar in reference to the subjects. The uncomfortable feeling that the “x” creates in the reading and the pronunciation can be compared with the uncomfortable feeling of those who do not feel–partially or totally—represented neither like they (male) or they (female).
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An erratum to this article is available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11256-017-0405-1.
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Chang, A., Torrez, M.A., Ferguson, K.N. et al. Figured Worlds and American Dreams: An Exploration of Agency and Identity Among Latinx Undocumented Students. Urban Rev 49, 189–216 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11256-017-0397-x
- Figured worlds
- Community cultural wealth