Toronto Metropolitan University
I just want to belong somewhere_Open Access_Nov2022.pdf (300.75 kB)

“I Just Want to Belong Somewhere”: Latinx Youth’s Experiences in the Education System in Ontario, Canada

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Latino Critical Theory (LatCrit) posits that the invisibility of the Latinx identity in conversations surrounding race and ethnicity leads to an inability for Latinxs to identify, conceptualize, and verbalize their unique experience. This article explores Latinx youth’s experiences in Ontario’s education system and their invisibility throughout their educational journey. Based on qualitative interviews and focus groups with a total of 60 Latinx youth (aged 16 to 26), this study found that Latinx students do not see themselves represented by teachers and peers. Latinx youth struggled with situating their sense of community within the education system and the broader Canadian context, which impacted their identity as LatinxCanadians. The findings also showed that a lack of exposure and widespread recognition of the Latinx community by peers, teachers, and other stakeholders in positions of power create racially insensitive environments for students. Youth shared that they experienced a sense of placelessness, wherein they could not fully belong in a single space.