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“They were just waiting for me to mess up”: A critical discourse analysis of immigrant Latinx teens’ perceptions of power dynamics.

This paper explores Latinx adolescents’ perceptions of power dynamics with authority around them. We seek to inform how community-based professionals engage with and seek to understand members of this population. We conducted a critical discourse analysis of data collected during a community action photovoice project with 13 Latinx adolescents living in a metropolitan region of the southeastern United States. Participants felt they were under greater surveillance scrutiny by authority figures in social and academic spaces than their non-Latino peers. They discussed ways their movements were at times constrained because others presumed they were deviant, and how that affected their identity development. Judgments and assumptions held by both powerful adults and oppressed groups alike serve to reinscribe social stratification that places Latinx adolescents at a power disadvantage relative to their white peers. These experiences and understandings of power relations shape the circuitous racial dispossession of youth.

Authors: Merino, Yesenia Y; Thomas, Tainayah T; Lightfoot, Alexandra A; Eng, Eugenia E; Simán, Florence F; Thatcher, Kari K; Chapman, Mimi M

Journal of community psychology. 2019 Nov 09;():. Epub 2019-11-09.

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