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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Researching and Learning from Undocumented Young Adults

Creative Commons 'BY-NC-SA' version 3.0 license

Over the years, I have learned to think of research as a collective project where communities give us information for our research and we seek appropriate outlets for putting our research products back into the communities. While scholars talk about this form of reciprocity, we don’t always think about the ways in which our research and our research participants can also change and affect us as individuals. While my research has led to a wealth of significant findings about the lives of undocumented young adults, it has also taught me a lot about my own life. Talking to countless undocumented young adults about concepts of citizenship, membership, and rights has taught me a lot about the significance of citizenship in my own life. I share three of these lessons from the field with you now in hopes that their experiences will transform your conceptions of citizenship as much as they have transformed mine.

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