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Subtractive Schooling: U.S.-Mexican Youth and the Politics of Caring
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Subtractive Schooling: U.S.-Mexican Youth and the Politics of Caring

4.01  ·  Rating Details ·  196 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
Subtractive Schooling provides a framework for understanding the patterns of immigrant achievement and U.S.-born underachievement frequently noted in the literature and observed by the author in her ethnographic account of regular-track youth attending a comprehensive, virtually all-Mexican, inner-city high school in Houston. Valenzuela argues that schools subtract resourc ...more
Paperback, 328 pages
Published October 21st 1999 by State University of New York Press (first published October 1999)
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Sep 27, 2011 Ceci rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in thinking about the underlying social structures that influence our schools
This an excellent piece of ethnographic work, and it well deserves the AERA 2000 Outstanding Book Award. Valenzuela does a fascinating job of merging the literatures of caring and social capital through the experiences of Seguin high school's students. Her argument that the social organization of Seguin High School subtracts cultural resources from Seguin's students is well supported through carefully selected evidentiary support. This book is hard to put down, and although through the cases pre ...more
Aug 19, 2008 diana rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: absolutely no one
Recommended to diana by: Buriel
Awful fucking book.

Valenzuela's research is thorough and interesting. The problem is that Valenzuela does not actually interpret her data. The book is written without even the semblance of objectivity; rather, Valenzuela substitutes an unconditional privileging of Mexican culture for logical interpretation or clear argumentation. At no point in the book does she actually lay out an argument. Despite the fact that it is the title of her book, she never explains how schools subtract resources from
Oct 15, 2011 Cynthia rated it really liked it
This was my high school experience summarized into 270 pages.

Valenzuela does an excellent job of breaking down the disparity Mexican American youth face throughout public schooling careers. Her research and field notes show how youths feel subjagated by the system into feeling like lower class citizens not worthy of a good public education. Definitely an interesting and insightful read that I would recommend to anyone who wants to understand the youth culture of Mexican Americans, or all minori
Lisa Keating
Mar 20, 2015 Lisa Keating rated it it was ok
Shelves: school
School book. I am considering doing a minor in Ethnic Studies at California State Sacramento. This is a Hispanic PhD. writer who writes about the problems Hispanics face in schooling. It was very critical thinking type reading. I just wish it read a little less like work...with that being said the semester is over..onto Fall 2015!
Sep 30, 2016 Sara rated it really liked it
This is an excellent ethnographic look at the subtractive nature of schooling. The book highlights the way in which a Houston school systemically devalues the cultural assets and background of its mostly Latin@ and Hispanic students. Written in 1995 with data collection from three years prior, the book is still, very unfortunately, relevant today.
Aug 20, 2012 Julianna rated it really liked it
Valenzuela has a good style of weaving a picture of systemic mistreatment of kids. Her style is compelling and very readable, but at the same time rich with enough data to make a strong case for the what she argues is happening to Latino students. I, personally, would like to see more offering about what could be done about the problem, but I understand that is not her project, but my interest.
Nov 28, 2013 Marilee rated it it was amazing
Powerful ethnography about the lives of Latin@ secondary students. The stories about the difference teachers and administrators can make in children's lives stayed with me.
Dec 17, 2015 Christoph rated it liked it
I read this for school. An insightful case study of Latino youth in a Houston high school. Much of it seems dated now, while other parts endure. That's not the fault of the author.
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