Pláticas y Acción Beyond the Classroom: Xicana/Latina Youth’s Navigations of Pathways to Success
As a rapidly growing demographic within the state of California and throughout the U.S., Latinx youth have been identified as a focal group for educational intervention as a means to improve the well-being of the entire nation-state. This research is part of a larger dissertation that examines the political and moral stances racialized youth are socialized into via one such educational intervention, a college preparation program. Specifically, this research project considers how Xicana/Latina youth navigate the racialized and gendered identities that they are socialized into via college-going pathways, cultural histories, and familial aspirations. Using pláticas and youth participatory action research, this project builds upon youth’s readings of their social worlds. Rooted within a desire-based framework (Tuck, 2009), this project centers high school-aged Xicana/Latinas’ agency and navigations of social systems that creatively maintain conditions of social and economic precarity. Rather than focusing on the damage that these systems create, this project provides space and tools for Xicana/Latina youth to build and act upon their existing critiques of such systems. Further, it highlights the affordances and constraints that Xicana/Latina youth’s desired futures are formed within and imagined beyond.