Mexican American educational stagnation: The role of generational status, parental narratives, and educator messages

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

Research on Mexican American educational incorporation has shown educational stagnation between the second and third generations. Whether educational stagnation is attributable to generational differences in parental narratives that affect the academic motivation between members of the second and third generation, or negative school conditions that lead to their low educational attainment regardless of generational status, remains in question. Utilizing 41 interviews, I examine how the parental narratives and high school experiences of Mexican Americans differ by generational status, that is, for the second and third generations. My findings demonstrate that both second- and third-generation participants received encouraging parental messages to pursue higher education, regardless of parents’ nativity. Therefore, generational differences in parental narratives inadequately account for educational stagnation. Furthermore, my findings substantiate the role of educator messages in shaping the educational trajectories of Mexican American youth. I find no generational differences in how Mexican Americans perceived and responded to their racialized treatment in high school, whether they attended a diverse or majority-Latino institution. In all, I argue that educator messages are equally or more important than parental narratives in shaping Mexican American educational incorporation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationRace, Equity, and Education
Subtitle of host publicationSixty Years from Brown
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Pages221-243
Number of pages23
ISBN (Electronic)9783319237725
ISBN (Print)9783319237718
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)

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