Latina immigrant mothers and daughters negotiating pathways to higher education




Teniente Valderas, Erlinda

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This study seeks to alter the mainstream notions of young Latinas and their higher educational attainment. More often than not, these mainstream notions of both low educational attainment and high pregnancy rates have been imposed by society's outdated views of Latinas. Using a Chicana Feminist Theory (Garcia, 1989) lens in collaboration with a pedagogies of the home approach (Delgado Bernal, 1992, 2001) and mujer-to-mujer centered conversations (Villenas, 2005), I aspired to capture and capitalize on the daily interactions that young Latinas along with their mothers are using to counter mainstream, patriarchal structures that are serving as gatekeeping entities to higher education. By using a microanalysis of the everyday lives of young Latinas and their mothers' daily interactions and analysis of their conversations, this research study also serves as a basis for a close analysis of K-16 entities-including career counselors in middle and high schools, local community organizations, and colleges/universities-and how they can use consejos, cuentos, and testimonios (Delgado Bernal, Elenes, Godinez, Villenas, 2006; Delgado Gaitan, 1994; Guzman, 2012; Valdés, 1996; Villenas, 2001, 2005, Villenas & Moreno, 2001) as a bridge for first-generation Latinas seeking higher education. In conclusion, this study finds that explain that the immigrant mothers in this study are finding ways to serve as sources of information for their young Latina daughters by countering gatekeeping entities that may keep young Latinas out of institutions of higher education. Furthermore, the findings of this study move beyond the spaces of college paperwork and a college education. Rather, the immigrant mothers in this study are preparing their Latina youth to prepararse, to prepare themselves for what life may bring them in the future.


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Alternate Spaces of Teaching and Learning, Chicana Feminist Theory, Latina Higher Education, Latina Immigrant Youth, Latina Youth College Attainment, Pedagogies of the Home



Bicultural-Bilingual Studies