Harvard Educational Review
  1. Summer 2012 Issue »

    Identity Constructions and Negotiations Among 1.5- and Second-Generation Nigerians

    The Impact of Family, School, and Peer Contexts

    Janet T. Awokoya
    Past scholarship on immigrant racial and ethnic identity construction tends to ignore the processes by which social context influences identity at the individual level. In this qualitative study, Janet T. Awokoya presents a complex understanding of 1.5- and second-generation African immigrant youths’ identities. Awokoya explores how three major contexts—family, school, and peer groups—affect the ways in which African immigrant youth construct and negotiate their racial and ethnic identities. Further, she contends that the ways in which African immigrant youth are expected to conform to ideals of what it means to be African, Nigerian, African American, and Black, which dramatically shift across contexts, significantly confound the racial and ethnic identity constructions and negotiations for these youth. The article concludes with a discussion of practical and theoretical implications for identity development among Black immigrant youth.

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    Janet T. Awokoya is a senior research associate at the Frederick D. Patterson Research Institute (FDPRI) at the United Negro College Fund, which focuses on examining barriers and facilitators of educational attainment for African Americans and other underrepresented minorities in the preK–16 education pipeline. She also works as an independent consultant to various school systems and nonprofit organizations where she provides training on the migration patterns and adjustment experiences of African and Caribbean immigrants and refugees. Prior to joining FDPRI, she taught at the University of Maryland on issues related to teacher professional development and multicultural education. Her research interests include African American and Latino education and identity and culture among contemporary immigrants and minority populations.
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    Summer 2012 Issue

    Abstracts

    Critical Bifocality and Circuits of Privilege
    Expanding Critical Ethnographic Theory and Design
    Lois Weis and Michelle Fine
    Legally White, Socially “Mexican”
    The Politics of De Jure and De Facto School Segregation in the American Southwest
    Rubén Donato and Jarrod S. Hanson
    Responding to Racism and Racial Trauma in Doctoral Study
    An Inventory for Coping and Mediating Relationships
    Kimberly A. Truong and Samuel D. Museus
    Identity Constructions and Negotiations Among 1.5- and Second-Generation Nigerians
    The Impact of Family, School, and Peer Contexts
    Janet T. Awokoya
    Call and Responsibility
    Critical Questions for Youth Spoken Word Poetry
    Susan Weinstein and Anna West

    Book Notes

    Changing on the Job
    Jennifer Garvey Berger

    “Multiplication Is for White People”
    Lisa Delpit

    American Teacher
    Vanessa Roth and Brian McGinn (Directors)