Unveiling Social Inclusion for Low-Income Immigrant Latina Mothers

Diana Cedano published a paper recently situated within the heart of economic and societal challenges. The work – an action research intervention – allowed Latina mothers to acknowledge their economic challenges more fully and work together to acquire agency that left them better off. It’s entitled “I don’t like to ask for charity”: The possibilities of social inclusion among immigrant low-income Latina mothers via feminist action research.” 

Author Diana Cedano explains that…

“My recent study delves deep into the lives of low-income Latina mothers, unveiling the impact of exclusion and the transformative potential of Feminist Action Research (FAR).

A Glimpse into the Journey

Based in an urban community in the Northeast U.S., my study aimed to understand the profound implications of economic and societal exclusion on the lives of low-income Latina mothers. In a world where financial disparities and societal biases abound, I embarked on a journey to understand and highlight the transformative potential of empowering Latina women via a financial intervention. My study embraced the stories of 12 resilient participants. Within this diverse group, the intervention centered around curriculum negotiation and critical thinking. These tools were intended to serve as catalysts for change, enabling these mothers to have reflective processes.

Contextualizing Positionality

Positionality refers to the personal values, views, and location in time and space that influence how one engages with and understands the world. It is wrapped up in the dynamics of power and privilege. I delved into the descriptions and roles of positionality in this study, ensuring that the intricate web of my own identities, experiences, and aspirations were not only acknowledged but deeply contextualized.

Unveiling Participant Experiences

The experiences of participants were rich and layered. It revealed stark economic deprivation and haunting discrimination. Yet, within these narratives emerged personal agency, solidarity, and social inclusion. An intriguing point of convergence I’ve identified, supported by editors, underscores the significance of liberating consciousness—akin to Freire’s conscientização—and its alignment with agency and social change. These findings strengthen academic discussions on poverty and highlight the complexities of this topic.

Reflection

In this study, the journey to social inclusion and empowerment became more than just abstract; it was practical and attainable. My research unveiled FAR’s potential in poverty research, broadening its scope for future interventions. These mothers’ strength and determination reveal that transformation isn’t a distant dream; it’s a waiting reality.

Citation and forever link to the article:

Cedeño, D. (2024). “I don’t like to ask for charity”: The possibilities of social inclusion among immigrant low-income Latina mothers via feminist action research. Action Research, 22(1), 69-85. https://doi.org/10.1177/14767503231199846

This paper is part of the special issue on transforming the poverty field.

Shout out to Joel Muniz for the photo.

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