Date of Submission

Spring 2016

Academic Programs and Concentrations

Sociology; Human Rights

Project Advisor 1

Joel Perlmann

Project Advisor 2

Nicole Caso

Abstract/Artist's Statement

The purpose of this extended case study is to determine what institutional, social and cultural factors contribute to undocumented Latino youth identity formation. Based on one month of qualitative interviews and participant observation at Peachtree University, a modern day freedom school for undocumented youth in Georgia, I examine how undocumented Latino youth identity evolves within state and societal pressures, and the formation of a commitment to activism through these youths’ experiences. Taken as a whole, this study traces the transformation undocumented Latino youth make from a position of social and political exclusion to actively claiming rights, recognition, and inclusion in the public sphere. Furthermore, this study examines post-national conceptions of citizenship and human rights. Through political activity and the formation of a collective identity, undocumented Latino youth at Peachtree University critique the limits of citizenship as state membership through the construction of a post-national political community in which they perform citizenship as an identity.

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