Thursday, April 24, 2008
Immigrant Youth and Institutions:
Cultural Contexts of Agency and Illegality
Friday, April 25
12:00 – 1:30 pm
ISSC Conference Room, 2420 Bowditch Street (at Haste)
Vincent Chong, M.D./M.S. Student, UC Berkeley-UCSF Joint Medical Program & ISSC Youth Violence Prevention Fellow, UC Berkeley: "Negotiating with Agency: Towards an Intersectional Understanding of Violence and Resilience in Young Southeast Asian Men"
Carmen Martínez-Calderón, Ph.D. Student in the Graduate School of Education & ISSC Graduate Fellow, UC Berkeley: "Out of the Shadows: Undocumented Latino College Students"
with Jonathan Simon, Associate Dean, Jurisprudence and Social Policy Program, and Professor of Law, UC Berkeley, as respondent
Negotiating with Agency: Towards an Intersectional Understanding of Violence and Resilience in Young Southeast Asian Men
Research regarding Southeast Asian youth violence often employs a risk and protective factors framework, portraying such behavior as a problem of maladaptation. However, violence also holds meaning for the youth who experience it. Cultural and gender theorists posit that violence is a tool young people use to construct their gender and racial identities. As adolescence is a key period of identity formation, understanding youth's constructions of their gender and racial identities may inform more appropriate violence prevention strategies. We conducted focus groups and semi-structured individual interviews with a diverse group (n=21) of young Southeast Asian men ages 13-17 recruited from a community clinic for Asian youth. Interviews elicited the role violence plays in their understanding of what it means for them to be both Southeast Asian and young men. Data were analyzed using a grounded theory approach. Our findings document that violence is ubiquitous in the lives of these young men. Furthermore, resilience and identity formation should be understood as complex processes through which relations of power are mediated and navigated, as opposed to static traits that young people possess. Thus, our findings suggest that violence prevention programs should use a constructionist framework, as opposed to an ecological framework, to design interventions that speak to the lived realities of the youth they target.
Out of the Shadows: Undocumented Latino College Students
This paper seeks to analyze how undocumented Latino students make sense of school, schooling, and their social standing. Based on two years of ethnographic research with 20 Latino students in California, I look at how their understanding of school, schooling, and their social standing influence them to abandon their state of "social invisibility" and participate in higher education. Through analyzing the motivations of undocumented students, I raise questions on the purpose of schools and schooling and how these are interpreted by different groups of people, such as undocumented students. "Undocumented" students decide to seek a higher education in an attempt to improve their opportunity for upward social mobility and incorporation into mainstream U.S society. They also see schools and schooling as mechanisms of assimilation and vehicles for social stratification. This paper further explores how race, class, gender, and rural or urban background affect the students' social, structural and economic opportunities both within and outside academia.
Vincent Chong is an M.D./M.S. Student, UC Berkeley-UCSF Joint Medical Program & ISSC Youth Violence Prevention Fellow, UC Berkeley. Born and raised in Canton, Ohio, Chong went on to complete his B.A. in ethnic studies from Brown University. Before enrolling in medical school, Chong worked as a community health worker and reproductive health counselor at Asian Health Services in Oakland Chinatown. His current research is focused on the use of culture in medical and public health discourses on Southeast Asian youth violence and the use of violence in the construction of masculinities.
Carmen Martínez-Calderón is a Ph.D. Student in the Graduate School of Education & ISSC Graduate Fellow, UC Berkeley. Martínez-Calderón, a native of the state of Michoacan in Mexico, immigrated to the U.S. at the age of eight without knowing a word of English. She went on to receive a double B.A. in Sociology and Ethnic Studies from UC Berkeley. Martínez-Calderón is a first generation college student and a Gates Millennium Scholar. Her research project is an ethnographic inquiry into the lives of "undocumented" students in higher education. By focusing on the social structure of higher education she hopes to illuminate linkages between education, social stratification, and inequality.
Jonathan Simon is Associate Dean, Jurisprudence and Social Policy Program, and Professor of Law at UC Berkeley. His scholarship concerns the role of criminal justice and punishment in modern societies, insurance and other contemporary practices of governing risk, and the intellectual history of law and the social sciences. Simon serves as faculty co-chair of the Berkeley Center for Criminal Justice. Simon is the author of Poor Discipline: Parole and the Social Control of the Underclass, 1890-1990 (1993) and the co-editor of Cultural Analysis, Cultural Studies, and the Law: Moving Beyond Legal Realism (with Austin Sarat, 2003). His most recent book is, Governing through Crime: How the War on Crime Transformed American Democracy and Created a Culture of Fear (2007). Simon also serves as co-editor of Punishment & Society and associate editor of Law & Society Review. Simon is the Principal Investigator of "Youth Violence and Neighborhood Change: New Immigrants in Oakland, California," a new research project of the Center on Culture, Immigration, and Youth Violence Prevention.
For more information contact Usree Bhattacharya at the Institute for the Study of Social Change, (510) 642-0813; or email email@example.com .