Adaptation Of Migrant Children: An Intertextual Analysis

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Introduction: It is three in the afternoon, the sun is bright and the skies are clear as I make my way through the crowded Isla Vista Elementary parking lot and into the classroom buildings. As I enter the classroom, the students are already lined up against the wall, talking amongst themselves, smiles across their faces and hands flying up in the air, they’re ready to go. We walk in a straight line through several classrooms as we make our way to the cafeteria; I look over my shoulder and realize a group of students have stayed behind. I ask the rest of the students to continue on into the cafeteria, and I quietly walk towards the group of students. The Mexican regional music playing inside of a classroom has ignited an argument. The…show more content…
Through an extensive interviewing process of children and adolescents along with their parents Portes and Rivas sought to study how young immigrants are adapting to life in the United States. The glimpses that Portes and Rivas offer of these interviews greatly tie back to Derscheid’s argument on the influence of parenting practices regarding racial awareness, as well as to my interview with Sra. Ana. The researchers tie in their findings to two theoretical perspectives; the culturalist which observes the newcomer’s place in the cultural and linguistic life of the host society and the structuralist, which focuses on the newcomer’s place within the host’s socioeconomic hierarchy—both of which speak to the “need” of migrant populations to adapt. Furthermore, the scholars arrived to the conclusion that “racial stereotypes produce a positive self-identity for white and even Asians but a negative one for blacks and Latinos, alongside racialized self-perceptions among Mexican American students” (Portes & Rivas, 2011: 14). In attempting to explain the reasoning behind these issues of self-identity and perception the researchers somewhat analyze the influence of mainstream media. And lastly Portes and Rivas recognize the existence of major differences in the social and cultural adaptation of two groups: immigrant children versus children of immigrant parents. This last piece is crucial to my findings, for my observations too reveal a distinction in racial awareness between children that recently migrated into the United States and those that were born in and have thus far been raised in the U.S. Lastly, the piece hints at the idea that confusion arises as these children are struggling to adapt to a new culture; meanwhile, attempting to keep their home country’s language, values and customs— but it lacks
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