Bridging the Cultural Divide:

A Single Case Study to Describe the Lived Experiences of a High School Senior from a Mexican American Working-Class Family

The United States’ education system lacks a commitment to multicultural education. This failure to validate all students’ cultural assets is problematic. Multicultural education challenges the status quo to change schools to validate the diverse backgrounds of students of color (Banks, 1993; Banks & Banks, 2015). The United States education system must adopt a multicultural education policy that focuses on equity, freedom, and diversity to ensure students’ success (Grant & Tate, 1995). Consequently, schools and students benefit academically and socially when schools validate, incorporate, and respect underrepresented students’ cultures as an integral part of the school curriculums and classroom cultures. This inclusion is crucial because multicultural education benefits teachers and administrators (Ladson-Billings, 1994). This paper explores the lived experiences of a bilingual Mexican American high school senior and first-generation college student as she navigated school and a hegemonic society that fights cultural and linguistic diversity. This paper describes the student’s lived experiences and the influences of hegemony on her and her family’s lives. The researcher audio-recorded the participant’s interview in her home. The participant responded to three primary questions and 30 supporting questions. In addition, the researcher asked questions that solicited details about her school experiences as a child of immigrants. The study’s findings conceivably inform school administrators, curriculum designers, teachers, boards of education, and other K-12 decision-makers of the need to implement multicultural education.

Keywords: multicultural education, cultural capital, funds of knowledge, white privilege, marginalization, hegemony, macroculture, segmented assimilation theory, critical race theory (CRT), anti-racist education, linguistic diversity, hegemony, DEI



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