Socialization into the dominant civic and political discourse lies at the heart of social studies. As they become proficient in the discourse of home and school, Latino immigrant youth demonstrate the potential to uniquely benefit from this socialization. This qualitative study explores ten Latino immigrant young adults’ perceptions of how their social studies experiences shaped their young adult civic selves. Participants internalized not only their parents’ high expectations for them, but also those of their teachers, highlighting the potentially instrumental role of schools in the civic fabric of the nation. In addition, the Latino young adults felt empowered by their social studies teachers via civic expectations and academic encouragement and perceived this empowerment to have facilitated the skill development necessary for later civic leadership. In closing, we reflect on immigrant students’ incorporation of the discourse of the dominant culture with that of the home to develop their own civic voices.


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pp. 20-32
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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