Lecture examines undocumented youths' paths to adulthood

“Learning to be Illegal: Undocumented Youth and the Confusing and Contradictory Routes to Adulthood” is the topic of a lecture to be presented by Professor Roberto Gonzales from the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration at 11 a.m., Jan. 13, in Social Sciences 109 on the Tempe campus.

The event is part of a lecture series by the ASU Center for Population Dynamics. Gonzales is a well-known researcher who focuses on undocumented youth and their transition to adulthood.

There are more than 2.1 million undocumented immigrant children and young adults who have lived in the U.S. since childhood, according to Gonzales. Each year, thousands of undocumented youngsters leave American high schools to embark upon uncertain futures. Gonzales’ presentation will examine the transition to adulthood among undocumented young adults. His lecture is based on 4½ years of fieldwork and 150 life history interviews with 20-34 year old undocumented young adults living in the Los Angeles area.

He has researched undocumented immigrant youths’ coming of age, identity formation, friendship patterns, aspirations and expectations. Professor Gonzales is regularly cited as an expert resource by local and national media, and is often invited to speak to national and international audiences on the circumstances confronting immigrant youth.

More information on lectures presented by the Center for Population Dynamics may be found at www.asu.edu/clas/ssfd/cepod/colloquia/index.html.