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“I’m not gonna be another statistic”: The imagined futures of former foster youth

“I’m not gonna be another statistic”: The imagined futures of former foster youth This article reports results from a qualitative study of former foster youth attending a 4-year university, focusing on the process by which these students construct and communicate imagined futures. Drawing on 30 in-depth interviews and sixteen months of participant observation at an on-campus support program, this study empirically illustrates how aspirations can be constructed through a complex process that involves individual biography, cultural notions of morality, and imagination. I argue that analysis of former foster youths’ imagined futures reveals how ambitious educational and professional aspirations serve as moral assertions of identity that separate this group from the negative stereotypes they feel have been projected onto them. Finally, I show how support programs for marginalized populations are critical not just for the resources they provide, but also for their role in expanding worldviews. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png American Journal of Cultural Sociology Springer Journals

“I’m not gonna be another statistic”: The imagined futures of former foster youth

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 2016 by Macmillan Publishers Ltd
Subject
Social Sciences; Social Sciences, general; Sociology, general; Sociology of Culture; Media Sociology
ISSN
2049-7113
eISSN
2049-7121
DOI
10.1057/s41290-016-0018-2
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This article reports results from a qualitative study of former foster youth attending a 4-year university, focusing on the process by which these students construct and communicate imagined futures. Drawing on 30 in-depth interviews and sixteen months of participant observation at an on-campus support program, this study empirically illustrates how aspirations can be constructed through a complex process that involves individual biography, cultural notions of morality, and imagination. I argue that analysis of former foster youths’ imagined futures reveals how ambitious educational and professional aspirations serve as moral assertions of identity that separate this group from the negative stereotypes they feel have been projected onto them. Finally, I show how support programs for marginalized populations are critical not just for the resources they provide, but also for their role in expanding worldviews.

Journal

American Journal of Cultural SociologySpringer Journals

Published: Nov 2, 2016

References