Invisible, but Working for Liberty and Justice for All: Local and Global Political Views and Behaviors of US Second-Generation Youth

Tuesday, 12 July 2016: 09:15
Location: Hörsaal I (Neues Institutsgebäude (NIG))
Oral Presentation
Evelyn RODRIGUEZ, University of San Francisco, USA
The politicization of US immigrants and their children is nothing new. The American public is quite accustomed to seeing, for example, notable political figures crediting their immigrant ancestry for their "compassion" (Colin Powell, former Secretary of State), "scrappy determination" (Hillary Clinton, Presidential candidate), and commitment to maintaining a nation that is "welcoming to all people" (Nikki Haley, Governor, South Carolina). Yet, while high-profile events like the 2011, 2013, and 2014 acquittals of white men who fatally shot unarmed black youth have re-ignited nationwide reflection and conversations on race, US racial tensions, and social change in America, the perspectives of Latino and Asian Americans (the US' two largest immigrant groups) often remain overlooked and/ or unreported. Given this absence, it is not surprising that the general public is also not often made aware of if and how contemporary US immigrants and their children might be politically involved in their homelands.

This presentation will help address these gaps by drawing on qualitative interviews with college-age children of Latino and Asian American immigrants to describe their perspectives on 1) race and race relations, 2) their inclusion/ exclusion from major national reports on these topics, and 3) their political involvement-- both in and outside of the US. Special attention will be paid to if and how transnational frameworks and experiences (eg, family visits and/ or exposure/ immersion trips to parents' homelands) inform youths' political views and behaviors, and the implications such understandings and approaches have for social change and development in the US, as well as in parents' countries of origin.