Blocking intersections: Constrained identity development of undocumented college students

Document Type

Conference Presentation

Conference Title

American Educational Research Association Annual Conference


New Orleans, LA

Date of Presentation



Undocumented students face multiple barriers that limit access to higher education. Using intersectionality as a framework, the overarching goal of this case study of a group of undocumented students attending a selective postsecondary institution is to understand how a hyper-focus on undocumented status shapes identity expression and the student experience. Findings suggest that collaborating with other undocumented students creates as support system; however, the political and social context of postsecondary education results in a hyper-focus on undocumented status that limits personal and professional development.

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