This case study is concerned with how institutional practices of normative whiteness can impede the school involvement of Mexican-descent students. It examines how damaging forms of white normativity can operate in school settings where one might least expect to find them: in commemorations of Mexican cultural holidays. The author shows how such commemorations can have the paradoxical effect of marginalizing Mexican-descent students and discouraging their involvement in a range of school activities. [Mexican American, whiteness, cultural conflict, cultural celebrations, belonging, identity formation]
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