Pedagogies of sacrifices: the use of narratives as socialization in families and a human resource for resilience

Janet Rocha*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Postsecondary institutions do not typically recognize or utilize students’ cultural wealth, yet cultural practices can significantly affect college persistence. In this longitudinal study, seven Mexican American low-income college students attending a large public research institution participated in in-depth interviews to examine the types of familial-cultural practices participants engage in with their families, and to explore how they apply symbolic value to such practices. I used a Latina/o critical race theory framework to analyze the raced and gendered layers of their experiences and highlight the forms of resilience and agency developed by them. Findings revealed cuentos and consejos as pedagogies of sacrifices that helped raise students’ consciousness of oppressive experiences and enable the possibility for transformative behavior by encouraging educational motivation, aspirations, and attainment. The use of these stories and advice as socialization in families is an important human resource for resilience. The relationship between students’ cultural wealth and the ways they utilize it to persist in college is an area where more attention is needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)186-209
Number of pages24
JournalRace Ethnicity and Education
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2021


  • Asset-based resources
  • cultural practices
  • familismo
  • narratives
  • resilience
  • socialization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Demography
  • Cultural Studies
  • Education


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