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In a collaborative research study with a Samoan community leader and a high school student, the authors explored the academic and cultural identities of 10 Samoan high school students. In-depth qualitative interviews revealed the students' struggles with negotiating cultural and academic identities in the ecological contexts of home, peer, teacher, school, and community. Using grounded theory, the authors described the reciprocal, contradicting, and alienating nature of Samoan and academic identities in the face of negative stereotypes, competing relational obligations, and low expectations. Findings and implications also focused on cultural strengths and values such as unity, giving back to the community, and respect.


Article published in Journal of Education 2009/2010, Vol. 190 Issue 3, p47-55. 9p.

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