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SLS Lecture Series: "Doing Research with Vulnerable Youth"

November 14, 12:00pm - 1:15pm
Mānoa Campus, St. John 11

Doing Research with Vulnerable Youth: Transformational Methods in the Global City

Presenter: Dr. Christine Malsbary, UHM College of Education Assistant Professor

This presentation addresses recent comparative ethnography with immigrant youth in global cities—Los Angeles and New York City. The “global city,” as originally theorized by Saskia Sasken, is a place of international migration, “superdiversity,” and the neoliberal political economy. In this presentation, I question: What does it mean to do ethnography in this setting? Then, I position “vulnerable” youth within the global city; specifically, recently arrived immigrants, English learners, and undocumented youth. “Vulnerable” is defined against the dramatic backdrop of current nativist politics around immigration and belonging. Secondly, I investigate techniques of collection that generated from the circumstances of the youths’ identity, like photo elicitation interviews and language brokering. Finally, I theorize that work with vulnerable youth in the global city takes a specific ethnographic form by the virtue of the very nature of who these youth are. The ethnographer, as a porous and responsive research tool, must necessarily work in ways that foregrounds transformation of “limit-situations,” à la Freire. This presentation is appropriate both for researchers theorizing methods with young people and vulnerable populations, and students seeking to expand their repertoire of qualitative methodological practices.


Event Sponsor
Department of Second Language Studies, Mānoa Campus

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