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Research Justice at the Intersections

Genevieve Negrón-Gonzales
Genevieve Negrón-Gonzales
Assistant Professor of Leadership Studies, School of Education, University of San Francisco

Educating the “Illegal”: Undocumented Community College Students an Neo-liberal Education in California’s Central Valley

Over the past five years, California has implemented a set of policy reforms aimed at increasing post-secondary educational access for undocumented students; reforms held up nationally as a model of educational access for undocumented students. However, not all of California’s undocumented students are benefitting from this shifting policy terrain. Using the conceptual framework of social reproduction of inequality theory from the sociology of education tradition and drawing from the field of Critical University Studies this qualitative, ethnographic study examines the educational, political, social, and economic lives of undocumented community college students in California’s Central Valley. This study examines the ways that policy reforms aimed at making higher education accessible to undocumented students comes into contradiction with deep intergenerational and transnational poverty, a racially segmented labor market dependent on low-wage undocumented migrant labor, and a public disinvestment in the state’s community college system.


Genevieve Negrón-Gonzales, PhD is assistant professor in the School of Education at the University of San Francisco. She grew up on the US-Mexico border and got involved in immigrant rights movement at age 16 in the fight against Proposition 187 in California and is the former co-director of the Oakland-based organization School of Unity and Liberation. She earned her BA in Ethnic Studies and her MA and PhD in Social and Cultural Studies in Education, all from UC Berkeley. She was active in the fight to save Affirmative Action and Ethnic Studies at UC Berkeley, and in the fight against the passage of Proposition 21 in California. Her current research and activism focuses on undocumented youth, the political economy of (higher) education, and social change.

Research Justice at the Intersections


RJI Scholars Program

2015-16 Scholars

Last Updated: 9/5/17