‘In Between Oprah and Cristina': Urban Latina Youth Producing a Countertext with Participatory Action Research
This article shares the voices of three transnational Latina youth and their experiences in a participatory action research (PAR) project. The three teens and the author (a university researcher) spent nearly four years investigating the lives of Mexican immigrant families in Northern California and how they maintain ties to small pueblos or ranchos back in rural and semi-rural Mexico. From this research, they produced a countertext about the transnational Latino immigrant experience in the form of a children’s bilingual picture book. In addition to detailing how the project was initiated and maintained, the author also shared the voices of the youth and their perspectives on the meaning the PAR project had for them. The findings — based on the evaluative reflections of the three youth during a taped focus group — include: how this PAR project was not like school; their critique of U.S. schooling; and the transformative aspect of this PAR project. Ultimately, PAR was a useful vehicle for the critique of schooling that the three teens had developed long before the group undertook research together.
globalization, transnationalism, immigrant students and families, racial/ethnic formation, and bilingual teacher education
Citation: Social Justice Vol. 36:4 (2009): 54-68