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Rina Benmayor

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Narrating Cultural Citizenship: Oral Histories of First-Generation College Students of Mexican Origin

Benmayor uses research produced by her students to analyze how students negotiate multiple cultural worlds, drawing upon different funds of knowledge. Often, traditional forms of assessment stigmatize bilingual and bicultural students as academically deficient. Rather than being viewed as “problems,” her oral history course intentionally provides space for first-generation students to draw upon their lived expertise. Benmayor finds in the oral histories of Mexican-origin, first-generation students a process of turning histories of cultural and economic subordination into empowering integrative spaces. Students in her program are able to model the possibility of creating a better future for themselves and for their families and communities.

language, cultural citizenship, immigrant students, education — higher education — United States, Immigrants — Mexican — United States, Latinos, Mexican American — education, memory, racism — United States

Citation: Social Justice Vol. 29, No. 4 (2002): 96-121