Publication Date: June 15, 1996
Con Respeto: Bridging the Distances Between Culturally Diverse Families and Schools—An Ethnographic Portrait presents a study of ten Mexican immigrant families, with a special focus on mothers, that describes how such families go about the business of surviving and learning to succeed in a new world. Guadalupe Valdés examines what appears to be a lack of interest in education by Mexican parents and shows, through extensive quotations and numerous anecdotes, that these families are both rich and strong in family values, and that they bring with them clear views of what constitutes success and failure. The book’s conclusion questions the merit of typical family intervention programs designed to promote school success and suggests that these interventions—because they do not genuinely respect the values of diverse families—may have long-term negative consequences for children.
Con Respeto will be a valuable resource in graduate courses in foundations, ethnographic research, sociology and anthropology of education, multicultural education, and child development; and will be of particular interest to professors and researchers of multicultural education, bilingual education, ethnographic research methods, and sociology and anthropology of education.
Guadalupe Valdés is a Professor in the School of Education and in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at Stanford University.
“This excellent ethnography . . . raises issues deserving serious consideration.”
“This rich and absorbing study of Mexican parents in border communities leads to more complex, rather than single-minded, solutions to school success. Valdés sees to the center of things and deftly questions the merit of typical educational interventions aimed at promoting school success.... these interventions, grounded in mainstream values, do more harm than good. They do not show respect for deeply ingrained familistic values—the cultural capital that immigrant parents bring with them on their backs and in their hearts from their homeland; and they devalue the social and linguistic competence of immigrant parents and their children....Valdés does not provide solutions. She does, however, lead the search with her strong but cautious narrative voice for a sufﬁciently complex and multi-leveled understanding of the challenges facing families who move across borders as immigrants.”
—From the Foreword by Carol Stack