Reimagining the Latinx Experience in America | Professor Vigil, Chicano High Schoolers in a Changing Los Angeles

by School of Law


Wed, Feb 23, 2022

12 PM – 1 PM PST (GMT-8)

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The Reimagining the Latinx Experience in America Book Talk Series hosts Professor James Diego Vigil to discuss his book, Chicano High Schoolers in a Changing Los Angeles: 2nd Edition (Biblio Publishing, 2020).

Gilberto Conchas, The Wayne K. and Anita Woolfolk Hoy Endowed Professorship of Education at The Pennsylvania State University, will serve as commentator.

Publisher's Description

Professor Vigil's ethnographic approach in unwrapping Mexican American high school students' academic achievement is broad and detailed. He provides us a broad canvas within which the reader can examine the connections between level of acculturation (i.e., cultural origins and ethnic identity), class status, and educational performances. He compiles rich data from two contrasting high schools (and, later, another upscale one) over several decades (1974, 1988, 2007, 2019), almost 50 years from the Vietnam War to the current COVID-19 pandemic. The major discovery shows how a balanced multicultural learning experience makes for a positive difference in school performance.

About the Author

James Diego Vigil is professor of social ecology at the University of California, Irvine. He received his Ph.D. in anthropology from University of California, Los Angeles, and has held various teaching and administrative positions. As an urban anthropologist focusing on Mexican Americans, he has conducted research on ethnohistory, education, culture change and acculturation, and adolescent and youth issues, especially street gangs. This work has resulted in publications such as From Indians to Chicanos: The Dynamics of Mexican American Culture (third edition, 2012), Personas Mexicanas: Chicano Highschoolers in a Changing Los Angeles (1997), and Barrio Gangs (1988). His recent books include A Rainbow of Gangs: Street Cultures in the Mega-City (2002) and The Projects: Gang and Non-Gang Families in East Los Angeles (2007), which examine family life in a housing project. Gang Redux: A Balanced Anti-Gang Strategy (2010) has most recently been published.