Intersectionality as a Framework for Understanding School Involvement and Advocacy Beliefs of Latina/o Families of Young Children
Although the recent literature on parental involvement among Latina/o families has focused on cultural strengths, few studies have examined the school involvement beliefs and practices of Latina/o families who vary across demographic and sociocultural lines within the same school community. In this chapter, I use intersectionality as a theoretical and interpretive framework for examining the narratives of 12 Latina/o parents regarding their children’s education, involvement, and advocacy beliefs during the first years of formal schooling, using qualitative methods. Parents espoused the cultural value of educación and attributed supportive relationships as important sources of feeling welcome at school. Intersectional differences attributable to parents’ education, immigration history, and contextual circumstances emerged in parents’ perceptions of an “open-door” policy at school, and in the type of advocacy they employed on behalf of children. An intersectional approach to building solidarity with families is discussed in terms of its potential in facilitating a critical multicultural consciousness among teachers, and for establishing informed and authentic partnerships with Latina/o families.
KeywordsLatina/o school engagement Latina/o cultural beliefs Intersectionality
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