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Straddling Two Worlds: Immigrant Adolescents' Construction of Identities

Straddling Two Worlds: Immigrant Adolescents' Construction of Identities
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Author(s): Leila Kajee (University of Johannesburg, South Africa)
Copyright: 2020
Pages: 14
Source title: Handbook of Research on Advancing Language Equity Practices With Immigrant Communities
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Lourdes Cardozo-Gaibisso (Universidad ORT Uruguay, Uruguay) and Max Vazquez Dominguez (University of North Georgia, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-3448-9.ch009


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Education is a challenge confronting immigrants in a country where they are perceived as cultural and linguistic outsiders. School becomes, for immigrant youth, the next most important societal institution to family, given that it is a powerful indicator of the child's ongoing and future well-being. School also serves as a primary form of contact with mainstream society. However, schools of the majority culture become potential sites of dissent. This chapter derives from a larger project on “Immigrant Literacy Practices in and Out of School in South Africa.” The aim of this chapter is to explore, through their narratives, how adolescent immigrant youth interpret their subjective identities and position themselves in relation to the host country, South Africa.

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