Narrating racial ideologies : an ethnography of relational organizing at a working class Latino elementary school in Texas

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2011-12

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Abstract

The purpose of this research was to document how racial ideologies were expressed in relational organizing practices in a working class Latino Elementary school in Texas. By identifying dominant and subjugated racial ideologies, this research contributes to effort to challenge inequitable racial systems in schools through community organizing for school reform. I employed a participant ethnographic approach by becoming a volunteer relational organizer with a community organizing institution at Walnutbrook Elementary. I worked with working class Latino parents and the school staff to identify and challenge inequitable racial systems at the school. Using a racial systemic framework, I describe how dominant racial ideologies shaped relational organizing practices through racial narratives repeated throughout the organizing actions. I also document how some working class Latina leaders were able to counter narrate subjugated ideologies by using differential techniques as their organizing practices. Through microethnographic case studies, I am able to tell the stories of how schooling institutions continued inequitable racial systems by narrating dominant racial ideologies while local community leaders created spaces through which to challenge these systems and ideologies by privileging their Latina epistemologies.

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