SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

This grounded theory study of 16 Mexican immigrant adolescents and 20 of their parents examines how they construct relational identities within their families, at school, with friends, and in the larger society. Results focus on a core identity bind faced by the adolescents: immigration messages from parents that say, “don't be like me” and the societal message, “you're not like us.” Response to this bind was guided by two contrasting sets of identity narratives: Empowering narratives invited an intentional approach to school and life choices. Restricting narratives maintained an ambivalent approach to school and life choices. Resolution of the identity bind was a collective, ongoing process that has implications for Mexican immigrant families and the professionals who work with them.