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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Subjectivity Making in Undocumented Immigrant Student Organizing

  • Author(s): Ramirez Resendiz, Chantiri
  • Advisor(s): Blackwell, Maylei S.
  • et al.

This master thesis project explores the ways in which the deserving/undeserving immigrant binary politically targets subject for incorporation into a national neoliberal project, while excluding others. Simultaneously, I also investigate the ways in which these targeted subjects have organized in response to structural inequities and in the process, have been making their own sense of political subjectivity. In this research I ask, what are the myths of good immigrant that have been created around undocumented immigrant students that produces a kind of exceptionalism that justifies incorporation? In what ways are undocumented student organizers consenting and contesting these narratives?

I examine the process of subjectification, “being made” through social norms and laws and “self-making” through everyday modes of resistance, of undocumented immigrant student organizers. I argue that undocumented immigrant student organizers have deployed a differential consciousness that has allowed them to identify ideological differences and oppositional expressions of power as opportunities for coalitions of resistance to challenge inequities within higher education and the dehumanization of immigrant morality binaries.

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