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Dancing Ethnicity: A Qualitative Exploration of Immigrant Youth Agency in an Ethnically Specific Program

Claudia G. Pineda, Michael J. Nakkula

Abstract


Abstract

This article addresses a conceptual gap in the Out-of-School Time literature by offering a framework to study the relationship between ethno-cultural components in programs focused on youth ethnic culture (ESPs) and ethnic identity development among longterm participants. Using qualitative methodologies, it examined the meaning-making of eight Colombian immigrant youth participants in ColDance, an after-school program focused on Colombian culture in Boston. Findings suggest ColDance played a powerful role in fostering a positive connection with youth’s ethnic heritage crystallized in tangible dancing skills and specific knowledge about Colombian traditions. It provided and nurtured cultural brokers who eased youth’s adaptation process. Further, it suggests that a performance-oriented program may expose youth to receptive audiences that function as social mirrors fostering positive self-concepts.

Keywords: After-school programs, ethnic identity, immigrant youth, Colombian youth, positive youth development.

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Bibliography: Pineda, Claudia G./Nakkula, Michael J.: Dancing Ethnicity: A Qualitative Exploration of Immigrant Youth Agency in an Ethnically Specific Program, IJREE, Vol. 2, Issue 2-2014, pp. 79-103.
https://doi.org/10.3224/ijree.v2i2.19548


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