Immigrant Youth Organizing as Civic Preparation

Rand Quinn, Chi Nguyen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Adequately preparing youth to enter the civic spheres of adulthood has emerged as an issue of concern in recent years due to widening civic empowerment gaps that track along race and class lines. Drawing on an ethnographic study of Homeward Bound (pseudonym), a program for Vietnamese youth in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, we show how immigrant youth organizing functions as civic preparation. We identify three processes. Organizing has the potential to (a) develop the critical orientation of immigrant youth participants and prepare them to (b) navigate the unique political dynamics within their local communities and (c) work cooperatively and productively with other communities. The study demonstrates the capacity of immigrant youth organizing to help close civic empowerment gaps.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)972-1005
Number of pages34
JournalAmerican Educational Research Journal
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • civic engagement
  • civic preparation
  • immigrant youth
  • youth organizing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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