Contents

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p. v

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Acknowledgments

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pp. vii-viii

Anyone who has written a book will know exactly what I mean when I say I am so happy to be finished. Part of the pleasure of being done is that I can finally give credit, where it is due, to those many friends and colleagues who have carried me through this book’s completion. ...

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1. Introduction

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pp. 1-26

One spring morning in 2005, I contacted a high school principal in the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles about the possibility of doing research with teen girls at her school. By coincidence, a large fight broke out at noon that day on the school campus. Over the lunchtime break, hundreds of Armenian and Latino students...

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2. Banal Multiculturalism and Its Opaque Racisms: New Racial Ideals and the Limits of “Getting Along”

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pp. 27-50

When I first sat down with the girls, I asked them for their thoughts about what happened on the day of the riot. Their hearty stories, emotional descriptions, and passionate pleas for peace all illustrate the force that the day exerted on them. As I make clear in this book, however, the emotive force of these events does not indicate...

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3. The Sexual Attraction of Racism: The Latent Desires of “Boys Are Stupid”

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pp. 51-77

“Boys are stupid.” This prototypical phrase was uttered time and again as the girls explained to me how the race riot began at their school. “Just boys being stupid and fighting.” But how do the girls so easily skim the importance of race in this explanation? Certainly boys were the main instigators and battlers that messy day...

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4. The Pain of Segregation: School Territoriality, Racial Embodiment, and Paranoid Geographies

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pp. 79-109

This chapter explores the “misplacement” of racialized bodies in this high school’s segregated territories of racial-ethnic difference. In particular, it considers the importance of the subjective and emotional experiences of the girls, such as fifteen-year-old Mayra, who either venture into strange racial territory or find themselves receiving friends who have crossed...

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5. Geographies of Migrant Girlhood: Families and Racialization

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pp. 111-143

Between 1980 and 2000, the Armenian-speaking, foreign-born population of the United States increased from about 70,000 to 156,555.1 In 2004, the city of Los Angeles had 70,000 Armenian speakers in its households. In fact, according to 2004 data, Armenian speakers over the age of five are the third largest non-English-speaking category in the city...

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6. What Girls Want at School: Surveillance, Care, and a Predictable Space

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pp. 145-171

As my interview time with each girl or group of girls drew to a close, I asked them what questions I may have neglected that they thought would be important to address in my research. Although many of them said, “I think we covered everything,” one other issue came up repeatedly: education. ...

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7. Conclusion

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pp. 173-189

Banal multiculturalism saturates American urban education. Youth are inundated with its messages of respect, diversity, and “getting along.” This book has shown the effectiveness of these banal messages and ways that girls hold on to them with feeling, commitment, and the desire for peaceful school relationships. ...

References

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pp. 191-200

Index

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pp. 201-204