Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


College of Education and Human Services


Teacher Education and Teacher Development

Thesis Sponsor/Dissertation Chair/Project Chair

Jeremy N. Price

Committee Member

Kathryn Herr

Committee Member

Fernando Naiditch


This qualitative dissertation study explored how multilingual/multicultural immigrant high schoolers’ multilayered identities intersected and shaped their experiences and imagined futures. I used intersectionality as a social action theory (Hill-Collins, 2019) as a theoretical lens to examine how multiple aspects of multilingual/multicultural immigrant high schoolers’ identities, such as socioeconomic status (SES), race, ethnicities, immigration, linguistic, social, and cultural backgrounds intersected and affected their perceptions of self, in and out of school experiences, access to resources and support, and imagined futures. While there is an increasing number of studies about schooling experiences and inequities that multilingual/multicultural immigrant high schoolers in U.S. public schools face, research on how the intersecting aspects of their identities influence their life, experiences, and futures is scarce. Multiple data sources were collected, including a podcast, semi-structured Zoom interviews, identity maps, and researcher notes, despite the COVID-19 Pandemic restrictions. Data were analyzed in iterative rounds using open and exile coding strategies. The complexity and challenges of intersectional analysis were apparent throughout the study. However, attempting to analyze the data and the writing process through an intersectional lens emphasized the importance and need for examining the intersecting aspects of participants’ multilayered identities to better make sense of their overall experiences and future decisions. The findings were represented in chapters four and five under two main foci: They revealed that the six multilingual/multicultural immigrant high schoolers’ educational experiences and imagined futures were highly influenced by the intersections of their gender, racial, linguistic, ethnic, social, cultural, SES, and immigration backgrounds. The study concluded that the participants’ multilayered identities affected their gendered roles and responsibilities, access to educational resources and support, sense of belonging, and imagined futures. The study also suggested implications for policy and practice and teacher education.

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