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Relying on a wealth of ethnographic and statistical data, this groundbreaking volume documents the many constraints and social forces that prevent Mexican-origin adolescents from constructing the kinds of networks that provide access to important forms of social support.


Special attention is paid to those forms of support privileged youth normally receive and working-class youth do not, such as expert guidance regarding college opportunities. 


Ricardo D. Stanton-Salazar is a sociologist, educator, and student advocate in the field of urban education. He currently works as an academic editor, specializing in editing academic manuscripts (at this time, journal articles only).

Dr. Stanton-Salazar was born and raised in San Diego, California, 19 miles north of the U.S.-Mexican border. He grew up in a working-class neighborhood, the child of a Mexican immigrant mother and a U.S.-born father of Irish-Mexican descent. The border region in which he lived composed the busy racial intersection that defined his childhood and youth, and the focus of his research later in life as an academic.

He studied sociology at the University of California, San Diego, and became interested in Latin American history as well as the study of social inequality in society. After receiving his bachelor’s degree, he worked as a bilingual elementary school teacher in National City, California.  He continued his studies at Stanford University, where he obtained his Ph.D. in Education in 1990.

Dr. Stanton-Salazar served as Associate Professor of Education in the Rossier School of Education at the University of Southern California from 2000 to 2011.  He served as Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of California, San Diego, from 1990 to 2000. Throughout his career, he has been involved in social justice movements, student advocacy, and the educational experiences of students of color. During the course of his years as university professor and researcher, he was awarded six fellowships by distinguished institutions for his extraordinary commitment to research on social inequality and Latina/o students, including a fellowship by the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Washington, D.C. (Visiting Scholar Fellowship, 2003-2004).

Dr. Stanton-Salazar is the author of Manufacturing Hope and Despair: The School and Kin Support Networks of U.S.-Mexican Youth (Teachers College Press, 2001), and has extensive publications in both academic journals and edited volumes. In his 2011 published article, he elaborates on the concept of institutional agents.  Drawing from empowerment theory in critical social work, he outlines the various criteria necessary for people in the school and community to become “empowerment agents,” a role where they not only provide various resources to the student or young person, but also strive to enable their authentic empowerment and critical consciousness.

Dr. Stanton-Salazar occasionally sits on dissertation committees and serves as a consultant for clients in the education field. He has also given workshops with first-generation undergraduate students to help them develop and refine their social networking skills across class and cultural borders, teaching them to construct a support network that ensures their success during and after college.

In his personal life, Dr. Stanton-Salazar is a devoted hatha yoga practitioner; he received his yoga teacher certification (RYT) in 2007 at the Kripalu Center in Stockbridge, Massachusetts.

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