2023 83 SBE

Critical Consciousness Development: Defining the Role of Privilege and Allyship Among Immigrant-Origin Youth

By: Jasmine Gabb

Department: Psychology

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Juliana Karras

There is substantial scholarship on Critical Consciousness (CC) development, or the process of recognizing social, political, and economic contradictions, and acting against them, for minoritized and non-minoritized youth. CC was developed for individuals’ or groups’ experiences with inequity, and the consciousness-building process was understood to be for their advantage. Many researchers have recognized the need to understand what critical action, a sub-dimension of CC, looks like for those who experience multiple intersections of inequity and privilege. Immigrant-origin (I-O) youth in American society who are living under repressive and changing immigration policies perceive and analyze social issues across groups. CC development in I-O youth, who were situated in a period of political unrest during 2020, displayed an ability to perceive intersections of systems of oppression (reflection), found themselves motivated through a “linked fate”, and displayed critical action behaviors. The present study is guided by the following questions among I-O youth: (1) How do youth who experience critical reflection and are participate in critical action negotiate privilege and allyship? (2) How do youth who identify as an ally or display ally behaviors negotiate privilege and participate in critical action? (3) How are negotiations of privilege and allyship related to ethnic-racial identity development?

Secondary analysis of a subsample n = 24 ethnic/racially diverse I-O youth (44% Asian, 32% Black, 16% Latinx, and 8% Mixed race; 82.6% female, 8.7% male, and 8.7% gender diverse; Mage=16.86, SD=0.92) from The 2020 Study (IRB#) was conducted. The original study conducted semi-structured interviews over Zoom to examine how I-O youth negotiated sociopolitical ramifications from the pandemic and social movements against systemic racism during the 2020 election season. The current study qualitatively analyzes subsample transcripts to deepen understanding of CC development and its relationship to privilege and allyship across identities through iterative analysis via grounded theory.