Transnational immigrant youth literacies: A selective review of the literature

Robert T. Jiménez, Caitlin Eley, Kevin Leander, Patrick H. Smith

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter examines transnationalism, social-literacy practices theory, the history of immigrant literacy in the United States, and an examination of central Mexican literacy practices. We then review and examine what is known concerning the literacy practices of immigrant youth living in the U.S. We define transnationals as individuals who participate in flows of people, ideas, capital and goods between regions. These flows are bi-directional, span national boundaries and are sustained over time. After examining historical and cultural influences on the ways that literacy is conceptualized and actualized in Mexico, we argue that all immigrant students, regardless of their ethno-linguistic backgrounds, bring to their host nations assemblages of information, ideology, and specific practices that we believe are full of either potential resources or possible damaging effects. Deeper understanding of these practices by educators provides a potential mechanism for bringing about desirable change or for maintaining oppressive racial and linguistic hierarchies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHandbook of Research on Cross-Cultural Approaches to Language and Literacy Development
PublisherIGI Global
Number of pages23
ISBN (Electronic)9781466686694
ISBN (Print)1466686685, 9781466686687
StatePublished - Aug 4 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities
  • General Social Sciences


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