Valadez, J. R. (2008). Shaping the educational decisions of Mexican immigrant high school students. American Educational Research Journal, 45(4), 834-860.

The purpose of this case study is to investigate the decision-making processes of 12 high-achieving rural Mexican immigrant high school students. Ethnographic data are collected over 18 months, and the investigation is guided by structuration theory. The strength of using structuration theory is that it opens up the possibility for exploring how students form decisions while taking into consideration how the students’ social and cultural contexts influence their choices. The study shows that students do not follow a conventional path to college, a path that often conflicts with their own cultural values. Implications for this study indicate that educational institutions must learn more about the culture and worldviews of Mexican immigrants to create more effective paths to higher education.

Link to article