“Because I’m Light Skin.. They Think I’m Italian”: Mexican Students’ Experiences of Racialization in Predominantly White Schools

Edward Fergus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Discussions on Latino/a students’ interpretation of the opportunity structure and schooling treat racial/ethnic identification among Latino/as as static, despite skin color variation. This article provides findings from interviews with six Mexican students who discussed teachers identifying them as “White-looking” or “Hispanic/Mexican-looking.” Both groups shared belief in the achievement ideology and understood the opportunity structure as fraught with barriers. However, the “White-looking” students perceived themselves as being able to permeate such barriers meanwhile the “Hispanic/Mexican-looking” students believed such barriers affect their ability to “make it” regardless of their aspirations. This study raises questions regarding theories on academic variability of Latino/a students.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)460-490
Number of pages31
JournalUrban Education
Volume52
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2017

Keywords

  • Latino students
  • identity
  • race
  • racialization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Urban Studies

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