DREAMers Rising: Constituting the Undocumented Student Immigrant Movement

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dc.contributor.advisor Cunningham, David
dc.contributor.author Piñeros Shields, Thomas
dc.date.accessioned 2014-02-04T19:44:35Z
dc.date.available 2014-02-04T19:44:35Z
dc.date.issued 2014
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10192/26317
dc.description.abstract Between 2008 and 2012, undocumented immigrants who entered the United States as children acquired a new sense of collective self and status as they pushed for the passage of the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act. In so doing, they became a new political group known as “DREAMers.” To assess how and why undocumented immigrant students were constituted as political actors, I draw on in-depth ethnographic observations with one undocumented immigrant student social movement organization in Massachusetts, which went from a struggling group of young people to an established social movement organization in a period of two years. Defining actor constitution as a combination of collective identity and legitimacy, I argue that undocumented immigrant students became political actors as a result of: (1) biographical resources based in their life experiences of being partially incorporated and partially expulsed from society; (2) the construction of public narratives from these life experiences; (3) the acquisition of material and cultural resources in organizations; (4) opportunities and threats within the national and Massachusetts immigration policy arenas, and (5) innovative strategies and tactics that deployed identity in these political arenas. As a result, this group constructed a collective identity centered on the name “DREAMers,” and gained standing in both state and national political arenas. By bringing theories from contentious politics to the study of undocumented immigrant students, this work advances understanding of the dynamic processes that explain how this group established a collective identity and gained standing in policy-making arenas.
dc.description.sponsorship Brandeis University, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.language English
dc.language.iso eng
dc.publisher Brandeis University
dc.relation.ispartofseries Brandeis University Theses and Dissertations
dc.rights Copyright by Thomas Pi�eros Shields 2014
dc.subject Undocumented immigrant
dc.subject students
dc.subject contentious politics
dc.subject social movement
dc.subject DREAM Act
dc.title DREAMers Rising: Constituting the Undocumented Student Immigrant Movement
dc.type Thesis
dc.contributor.department The Heller School for Social Policy and Management
dc.contributor.department Department of Sociology
dc.degree.name PhD
dc.degree.level Doctoral
dc.degree.discipline Social Policy and Management
dc.degree.discipline Sociology
dc.degree.grantor Brandeis University, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences


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