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Improving Hispanic Community Literacy and Education: Navigating the Contestations and Negotiations Through Legitimate Peripheral Participation

Spanish Town

Immigrants often seek higher life quality in a new country. However, many immigrants become lost or marginalized in dominant culture. By using research participant stories, this session will explore how legitimate peripheral participation helps immigrants bridge into the dominant narrative for education/work opportunities and increased life quality.

Principle Investigator: Dr Gladys Velazquez-Montane

Research Assistant: Ms Monica Severson



Immigration is not a new phenomenon. The current border crisis exemplifies immigrants’ search for a better life. However, with all the research on diversity and inclusion, immigrants are still significantly subjected to subjugation and marginalization in American society. Marginalized populations such as immigrants are excluded from day-to-day conversations, decision-making, education, community life, and obtaining fair wage employment.


On a societal level, when marginalized and disenfranchised populations are discounted, society as a whole is weakened. Therefore, displacement from their native culture to American culture requires navigation, and education is the single most crucial factor in determining socioeconomic status and cultural assimilation. This session based on actual research will explore the learning lives through legitimate peripheral participation of Latinos/Hispanics immigrating to America.


Legitimate peripheral participation is not an educational form, pedagogical strategy, or teaching technique but rather an analytical viewpoint of learning and a way of understanding. Legitimate peripheral participation will be used to demonstrate how immigrants reside in a subculture environment to help them navigate the common core culture.


Through the identification of tools and resources, immigrants are able to generate possibilities that can structurally and systemically improve the lives of those who have been disenfranchised and marginalized.

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