The significance of race and gender in school success among Latinas and Latinos in college

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Abstract

This article considers how race and gender shape Latina and Latino paths to school success in college. A purposive sample of successful high school and college students was selected. Through interviews, fieldwork, and school records, the researchers find that Latinas navigate successfully through negative stereotypes by maintaining positive definitions of themselves and by emphasizing their group membership as Latina. Young Latino men also see themselves as part of a larger cultural group but tend to have less positive racial and ethnic identities than women do. Typically, they are supported by mentors, such as white athletic coaches, and tend to draw from the meritocratic ethos of sports, regarding their success in individualistic terms. While successful Latinas do not assimilate in the ways predicted by the literature, the young men in this study accept the individualistic and meritocratic ethos of the dominant culture, but with a psychological price.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)859-878
Number of pages20
JournalGender and Society
Volume15
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2001

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