Making Invisible Latino Adolescents Visible: A Critical Approach to Latino Diversity

Making Invisible Latino Adolescents Visible: A Critical Approach to Latino Diversity

Making Invisible Latino Adolescents Visible: A Critical Approach to Latino Diversity

Making Invisible Latino Adolescents Visible: A Critical Approach to Latino Diversity

Synopsis

Making Invisible Latino Adolescents Visibleexplores both economic and social factors that hinder the progress of Latino youth in the United States.

Excerpt

Rudy Hernández, Marcelo Siles, and Refugio I. Rochín

Latino youth face challenges which have heretofore been ignored. Their issues transcend the usual minority problems of adolescence, family crisis, education, poverty, promiscuity, drugs, and staying out of trouble. Their challenges extend to being part of an increasingly diverse, fastgrowing population that is expanding across the United States. Their challenges emanate in part from being perceived and treated as foreign-born immigrants in a society with growing xenophobia, exacerbated by widespread ignorance about who they are, and general confusion with identity in terms of labels that are prescribed and utilized: Hispanic, Latino, Chicano, Boricua, raza, etc. These forms of identity are also interspersed with stereotypical depictions of Latino youth as gangbangers, graffiti artists, and oddly enough, migrant children who work the fields of agriculture. To a degree these labels describe the predicament of Latino youth. They are heterogeneous with many identities. They are covered in the media in various ways, but mostly under the rubric of “Hispanic.” Their population is growing so quickly that Latinos themselves are oftentimes not connected to each other by common themes and issues.

Yet, Latino youth are being challenged in new and important ways. They are at a major crossroads of mainstream society, facing new roles as future leaders and workers (Duany & Pittman, 1990). Latino youth are entering a new century where they will be expected to convert their challenges into opportunities. With these concerns at stake, it is increasingly

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