Table of Contents

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Five chapters and an Introduction. To be written in the span of 8 months


Presentation of the problem. How does segmented assimilation looks like in the 21st century? What is the role of new media and digital technology in the process of incorporation? Introduce the Latino/Hispanic immigrant youth and the demographic shift in the U.S. New media practices, literacies, and activities.

Personal experience living in the U.S. south west, in Texas.

Presentation of methods, data, site and participants. Explanation of reasons for choosing only 5 students of a group of 18. First and a half and second generation latino/hispanic immgrants with Mexican origins, involved in the digital media oriented after school program or the elective classes.

Presentation of theoretical framework: segmented assimilation, digital inequalities, new media literacies, figured worlds and multiple/fluid identities.

  • Short story from fieldwork. Reveal the setting. The engagement with tech.
  • Low Income Latino/Hispanic Immigrant Youth Digital Natives Bordercrossing Austin, TX
  • Assimilation, acculturation, globalization, cosmopolitanism, Identity
  • Questions about navigation
  • Media practices and navigation, resources.
  • Three spaces
  • Itinerary. Chapter outline.

Chapter I.A Literature Review.

A. Segmented Assimilation B. Historical Context: The U.S. demographic shift and the Latino/Hispanic population C. New Media and Digital Inequalities D. Digital Youth and Latino/Hispanic Youth New Media Practices E. Skills and New Media Literacies F. Figured Worlds and Multiple Identities : Practice and Activity Theory

Chapter I.B Methods

A. Qualitative Methods

Qualitative research methods have

1. Ethnography

B. The site

C. Participants

D. Qualitative Data

1. Narrative

1.1. Semi-structured Interviews: Protocols. 1.2. Focus Groups

2. Texts, Still Images, Videos, and Sounds Data 2.1. Media at home maps 2.2. Social media journals 2.3. SNSs Status updates 2.4. Photos 2.5. Youth-made videos 2.6. Music videos and songs 2.7. Visual memes

3. Data Analysis 3.1. Content Analysis 3.2. Computer Assisted/Aided Qualitative Data Analysis Software

E. Quantitative Data

Chapter II. Home: Family Relationships and Home Media Environment

The experience of immigration is overall a family affair. Family dynamics, relationships, and resources are essential to the immigrant youth process of assimilation. They shape many of the assimilation outcomes across multiple dimensions such as language, culture, socioeconomics, education, and identity. Hence, researching the home context is crucial for understanding how the interaction between individual and structural factors can determine different trajectories of assimilation, various forms of acculturation, and particular repertoires of new media practices. In this chapter I analyze the home context of five Latino/Hispanic youths and develop a series of short case studies that provide a panorama of the diversity of home media environments, parenting styles, youth identities, and media and cultural brokering activities. A critical part of my analysis focuses on trying to understand how immigrant youth actively negotiate, within their homes and through their engagement with digital media, the tensions between parental ethnic culture and U.S. culture. More specifically, I try to understand how these boys and girls navigate the tension between “familism” (strong family interconnection), one of the major Latino/Hispanic cultural values, and the individualization and privatization of lifestyles in contemporary U.S. culture. What kind of acculturation (consonant, dissonant, or selective) did characterize the family relationships and how did new media practices shape that process? How did the cultural, social, human and economic resources of the family determine the repertoires of new media practices and skills developed at home? How did Latino/Hispanic immigrant youth narrate those media practices? Which practices were narrated as familial or communal? Which ones were described as individual or private? How were the new media practices within home shaped by gender differences? What kinds of cultural and ethnic traits did the identities constructed within home have?

Questions need to be narrowed in order to fit the argument about segmented assimilation. In which way these media practices at home contribute to the process of incorporation to the new society?

This chapter will serve as an introduction to the background of the participants and the social positions of their families. The chapter describes the technology environments at home. Rich description of the domestic sphere and the kinds of access that the youngsters have. Influence of family background in the development of media practices, discursive media practices such as literacies, as well as material media practices. Positionality of the families as consumers of technology, entertainment. Show how parental cultural resources affect youth digital media practices.

Continue reading Chapter III

Chapter III. After School: Digital Media Extracurricular Activities and the Cinematic Arts Project.

Activities out-of-school have become very important in the learning ecologies of children and youth in the U.S. During the last decade, after school programs have proliferated in public schools and community organizations with a great variety of goals, structures, and outcomes. Especially for low-income and minority youth, these kind of programs have become crucial for expanding their access to technology, enrichment opportunities, and narrowing education inequalities. In this Chapter I elaborate a case study of two Latino/Hispanic immigrant boys (Antonio and Sergio) who participated in the FHS digital media oriented after-school space and joined its main programs, the Digital Media Club and the Cinematic Arts Project. Drawing on the analysis of participant observation fieldnotes, semi-structured interviews, and youth-made media texts, I elaborate an analysis of how Antonio and Sergio constructed identities as filmmakers, musicians, and creative artists, and developed several new media literacy skills. Furthermore, I analyze how these Latino/Hispanic boys shared understandings of learning, and struggled to find opportunities where they could continue their creative arts trajectories. How did new media tools and networks accessed within the after school context facilitate Latino/Hispanic immigrant youth access to resources and opportunities that help them to assimilate to the U.S? What kinds of new media literacies did they develop within this context and how did they help them to navigate their assimilation trajectories?

Questions will be narrowed so they address in a more clear way the social position of the families and the two youngsters who participated in the afterschool program. Children were situated as producers of media but they come from low income working class families. although during the span of the school year the program help them in their assimilation, integration to school, avoiding drop out, their trajectory confronts a gap after graduation. Their resources seem to disappear as they exit high school without any clear career pathway and lack of opportunity. They do not move downward but neither forward. Talk about conflict with working class parents, their jobs, their aspirations. Address the utility of afterschool programs, as well as the short duration (only one year) that these youngsters spent in the video related program.

Acquisition of skills and some social and cultural capitals. Emphasis on visual literacy, appropriation, performance, navigation, communication skills, transmedia navigation. Articulating identities as filmmakers and artists.

Issues of access to technology and media production tools. Cameras, computers, lights, microphones. In the long term do not solve the inequalities and lack of access to opportunities.

Continue reading Chapter IV

Chapter IV. The Networked Virtual Space: Interactions across Interconnected Online Contexts

As Latino/Hispanic immigrant youth are increasingly accessing in an everyday basis digital tools and networks, they are spending more time on virtual spaces, communicating and socializing with other humans and machines, and searching, creating, circulating, and consuming different kinds of multimodal content and information. In the current networked communication environment, immigrant youth who have access to Internet connectivity can enter and exit online contexts where they find opportunities to participate across various realms, in diverse ways, and with different degrees of engagement. From music listening to visual meme creation, from familial communication to civic organization, from game play to information seeking, the potential for participating across several societal realms has expanded considerably. Although the conditions and structures of participation vary across the different virtual contexts, Social Network Sites (SNS), search engines, massively multiplayer online game, online forums, and audiovisual archives, all offer opportunities for engaging in new media practices. Assuming the networked virtual space as made up of multiple interconnected contexts, in this Chapter I elaborate short five case studies on the new media practices and identities that each of the study participants developed within this complex space. How did differential kinds of accesses (motivational, material, skills, and usage) affect immigrant participation online? How did immigrant youth narrate their activities within the spaces that conform the networked virtual context? What were the identities that immigrant youth construct within and across online-networked space? What were the cultural and ethnic traits of those identities? How did the networked virtual space facilitate Latino/Hispanic immigrant youth access to resources and opportunities that shaped their assimilation to the U.S? How did they navigate the complex web of online spaces? and what kinds of new media practices and skills did they develop as they entered/exited multiple interconnected virtual contexts?

This is the most problematic chapter because it can expand in many directions. Narrow questions to keep focus on segmented assimilation, communities, bonding, capitals. Social and cultural resources needed to be entitled, to feel capable of speaking up, of writing up, commenting up, networking online. It is just entertainment or is the Internet a tool that can be leveraged? How does it help in the process of assimilation? it is only for taste cultivation? for identity formation? for consuming culture?

This chapter reveals the complexity of literacies. Their multiplicity in action. And the diversity of identities. Some good examples are Sergio and internet culture, especially meme based culture. Several students and music and youtube. The brothers and videogame websites and online MOGS. Use of social media could be addressed as well as searching. A way to structure the chapter could be around the practices of sharing, searching, producing, consuming information/content on the internet. Narratives of the internet are fascinating among these youths. Also, their use of YouTube. They way of doing school and homework online is important. Their sociality online is quite diverse among them. Their ties and peers and networks are not as diverse.

Continue reading Chapter V


Information retrieval, synthesis, the internet as a fixed thing. Information quality. Emphasis on information literacy, judgement, transmedia navigation. Articulating identities as digital natives, researchers, gamers, musicians, filmmakers.

Searching for homework, taste, problem solving, learning. How do they search? What do they do with what they find? This kind of information literacy is very important since is both an act of reading and writing, in a dynamic and interactive system. How do they imagine such system?

What is the kind of information latino/hispanic youth seek online? What are the questions they ask? What do the expect to encounter? How do they approach to this information? What do they do with what they find? How do they imagine the internet?

The literacy practice of searching the web using a web engine. When do they use the search engine? How do they use it? Rely on the search engine too much. what is the quality online research?

Understand also their relationship with too much information. What many of the students, using grounding terminology describe as random. Random findings.

Googling as "doing" research.

From desktops at home an school, and from mobile. I focus mainly on the searches that are performed in not-school settings.

Specific online search skills (Do they have them? What do they have?):

  • ability to use appropriate and effective search queries and their understanding of how online search results are generated.

SNSs and Web 2.0 (Social Media) platforms : FB and YouTube (Circulation and curating) Entertainment, learning, and searching. Precarious networked publics or semi-publics? Or interacting with networking publics from the margins? Especially focused on music culture. The convergence of music and video culture in YouTube and in FB. New subcultural practices, eclecticism, hipsterism. Availability of so much music. Emphasize on remix, appropriation, transmedia navigation, performance, media literacies. Articulating identities as music lovers, alternative life styles, indy rockers. Music oriented identities, gamers, internet culture geeks.

Something interesting that happens in this setting, in the realm of the WEB 2.0. platforms, is that the practice of circulating and curating, integrates several platforms. It is not one alone. FB for instance could be seen as scrapbook where different pieces and materials from other websites are pasted, arranged, collected. Youtube, as a jukebox is also central for many practices of listening as well as for circulating and embedding videos.

Chapter V. Conclusion

Bringing the three chapters into a conversation. What the new media brought to the assimilation process. The practices. Limitations in terms of skills and in terms of accesses. The diversity of experiences among this group.

Identity is also fluid, a contested ongoing social process.

Attention to literacies, as social practices, and to a plurality of languages, communication practices. Languages as part of complex social practices. Researchers need to put more attention to it. This study uses data that lacks the language complexity of the lifes of latino/hispanic youth.

Capture something of the complex relationship between broader social structures and individual agency, ideology and identity, norms and interactions.

Latino/Hispanic youth experience power differently depending which field they are in at a given moment. All the fields analyzed in this dissertation (family, peer group/afterschool, online search and the Internet as a repository of information -the web-, and the SNSs) are interrelated and influence each other.

There is a potential for more democratic and participatory society. Even at the margins, the disadvantaged youth exercise agency and power at certain moments of time, in more maximalist and minimal forms according to the field where they are. They are already connected but they are not empowered equally.

Visual culture grows and is stronger among this population.

Lack of literacy skills and disconnection with school are critical.

Social position of latino/hispanic youth influence their participation. The position changes across settings, across fields, arenas or realms.

The study reveals the diversity of the digital youth experience and everyday life. Segmentation and positionaliy matters even inside the whole group of hispanic/latino youth.

Participation is fluid across the several societal fields that latino/hispanic youth transit. Societal fields or arenas are various social and institutional arenas in which youth perform media practices, develop literacies, express and reproduce their dispositions.

The development of literacies is influenced by social, human, and cultural capitals. Social, human, and cultural resources affect the sociocultural practices of literacies. Participation in social and cultural discourses, and as well gaining social and cultural resources.

Limitation of literacies when they are not used interrelated, connected. When the social world is reduced and the conditions are not equal, literacies are not enough for participation. That is why cultural and social capitals are also needed. Opportunities for participation are there, but not only the literacies are needed but also appropriate position for participation.

Social and cultural capital influence literacy practice.

Understand informal and semi-formal learning context where literacies are used, acquired, and developed. Take account on the variations of meaning and status of different literacy skills.

Relation between literacies, capitals and participation. Understanding of how capitals are activated, earned, mobilized and their relationship with digital media practices, in particular literacy practices. Understanding of the constellation of literacies that form particular digital media practices. At a given practice, multiliteracies are articulated, bounded, connected.

Streamlined Outline

  1. Introduction
: Paradoxes and Disjunctures of Networked Latino/Hispanic Youth
  2. Ch1. Theoretical Framework and Methods.
    1. Literature Review
      1. Segmented Assimilation and the New Immigrants
      2. Digital Inequality and the Participation Gap
      3. Media Practice
      4. Figured Worlds and Identities
    2. Data and Methods
  3. Ch2. Home
    1. Latino/Hispanic Immigrant Families: Dynamics and Assimilation Strategies
      1. Familism, Educacion, Respeto.
      2. Brokering
      3. Three acculturation processes
    2. Complex Immigrant Domestic Worlds
      1. The Home as a Figured World
      2. Parenting styles: traditional, modern, working class, middle class. (motivation access)
      3. Domestic media environment: spaces and tools (material access)
        1. Communal public space : living room, dining room.
        2. Private space: bedroom
      4. Media practices and skills (usage and skill access)
        1. Homework
        2. Music
        3. Gaming
        4. Media production
        5. Entertainment
    3. Conclusions : Generational gaps.
  4. Ch3. After School
    1. The After School Program Field
      1. Outcomes and Learning Approaches
      2. Incorporation of Digital Media in ASPs
      3. Digital Media After School Programing at Freeway High School
        1. The Digital Media Club (DMC)
        2. The Cinematic Arts Project (CAP)
    2. Latino/Hispanic Youth Agency in a Digital Media Production World
      1. Entering the World of the Cinematic Arts Project
      2. Space, Tools, and Discourses.
      3. Motivation and Empowerment (motivation access)
      4. Media Practices and Skills.
      5. Exiting the Cinematic Arts Project and Finishing High School: Confronting Structural Social Inequalities.
    3. Conclusions : Confronting Paradoxes. Connected but disconnected. Segmented digital assimilation?
  5. Ch4. Mobility in Networked Space
    1. Narrating Internet Life
    2. Randomness and Searching : drifting online, finding weird things.
    3. Sharing and Socializing with Peers in Social Media Platforms
    4. Going Public? Peripheral Participation and Immigrant Visibilities.
  6. Ch5. Conclusion