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Latina TeachersCreating Careers and Guarding Culture$
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Glenda M. Flores

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781479839070

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479839070.001.0001

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“I Just Fell into It”

“I Just Fell into It”

Pathways into the Teaching Profession

(p.35) 2 “I Just Fell into It”
Latina Teachers

Glenda M. Flores

NYU Press

This chapter explains the forces that channel Latinas into the teaching profession. The changing opportunity structure of the economy, familial social networks, and social structural forces of racial, class, and gender inequalities creates a situation in which gender and race refracts working-class status, such that primary and secondary teaching has emerged as the top occupation drawing Latina college graduates. Many of these women are the first person in their families to graduate from college, and this chapter suggests that a strong obligation to help their families financially influences their choices. These forces, at work in their families and universities, both constrain and enable their pathways into teaching and influence the emergence of cultural guardianship. For this reason, “class ceilings” help to explain how Latina college graduates navigate their educational and career choices with collectively informed agency and filial obligations to family members.

Keywords:   class ceilings, family, intersectionalities, inequality, pathways, obligations, collective agency, career, financial constraints, working-class

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