Coming of Political Age
American Schools and the Civic Development of Immigrant Youth
Publication Year: 2013
Published by: Russell Sage Foundation
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The simple act of voting gives voice to the needs and desires of a population and is a critical aspect of political participation and civic engagement. Voting offers a measure of citizens’ perceived agency in society. As a citizenry grows and changes, the political processes associated with its governance are...
1. Immigration, U.S. Schools, and the Changing Youth Vote
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Recent, dramatic demographic changes in the school-age population initially prompted our questions about the political development of children of immigrants. High rates of immigration to the United States over the last twenty to thirty years, coupled with an unprecedented geographic dispersion of immigrants, have made immigrants and their children a growing presence throughout...
2. Adolescents’ Families, Schools, and Communities: Shaping Political Engagement in Young Adulthood
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During adolescence in America, an individual’s social world widens greatly. As a child, his or her world and identity development were centered in the family and the home. During adolescence, however, the individual begins to branch out, making connections with friends and other community members beyond the fold of the home. The world of the adolescent...
3. Children of Immigrants and Their Schools
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When children of immigrants walk through the doors of their high school, they enter a world with peers and teachers from different backgrounds and they experience the academic curriculum from a U.S. perspective. Their academic and social lives are shaped by shared courses, relationships with peers and teachers in the school, and participation in extracurricular...
4. Academic Opportunity and Stratification Among Children of Immigrants and Children of Native-Born Parents
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We hypothesize that American high schools shape future political participation through two primary pathways. First, high schools stratify students, sorting and ranking them into courses at different levels, with different demands, and assigning indicators, like grades, of academic performance and college readiness. Such stratification contributes directly to students...
5. Social Science Preparation and the Adolescent Children of Immigrants
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We turn our attention now to the second way in which schools prepare students for political participation: the social science courses designed to develop civic knowledge and skills. Since its inception, the U.S. high school has evolved to guide youth toward professional and civic participation in adult society, and all high schools today simultaneously prepare youth for...
6. Schools and the Political Participation of Children of Immigrants
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In prior chapters, we discussed immigrant political participation, academic preparation, and schooling at the start of the twenty-first century, as well as the impact of these factors on young adults’ political participation. We have explored a number of ways in which schools may contribute to adolescents’ political development and their early adult political participation, with an eye...
7. Conclusions and Implications: Adolescent Children of Immigrants and Their Schools
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We began this study with the premise that high schools are important venues for adolescents’ political development, providing experiences that help them become active in our nation’s democratic process. Schools not only prepare young people for labor force participation but also socialize them in important ways to become independent adults who contribute to...
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Page Count: 186
Publication Year: 2013