Turning Adversity into Capitals among Low Income First Generation Students of Color: Exploring Interdependence of Multiple Capitals

Marcelle Jackson, Jung-ah Choi


Much literature have documented that low income, first generation college students tend to contend with challenges and hardships such as financial constraints, low parental support, lack of college information, and lack of social networks. However, a growing number of the studies reverse such “deficit” view on first generation students of color, and assert that resources of traditionally disadvantaged students become a community cultural wealth for accessing privilege. This study collects the experiences of low income students of color who graduated from PWIs in the U.S. higher education system. In so doing, the study uses Yosso’s Community Cultural Wealth as a theoretical framework, and analyzes the experiences in terms of how they transform their resources into capitals. The analysis of the data shows that each participant leverages Yosso’s six capitals in the way to gain successful educational attainment. Unfulfilled parental dream and pitying parents turn to valuable family and aspirational capitals; lack of clear goals and lack of guidance compelled the participants to be able to navigate through possible social networks. The data also shows how one capital reinforces and intersects with other capitals.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.22158/jecs.v5n6p13


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