Translating Childhoods: Immigrant Youth, Language, and Culture
Though the dynamics of immigrant family life has gained attention from scholars, little is known about the younger generation, often considered "invisible." Translating Childhoods, a unique contribution to the study of immigrant youth, brings children to the forefront by exploring the "work" they perform as language and culture brokers, and the impact of this largely unseen contribution.
Skilled in two vernaculars, children shoulder basic and more complicated verbal exchanges for non-English speaking adults. Readers hear, through children's own words, what it means be "in the middle" or the "keys to communication" that adults otherwise would lack. Drawing from ethnographic data and research in three immigrant communities, Marjorie Faulstich Orellana's study expands the definition of child labor by assessing children's roles as translators as part of a cost equation in an era of global restructuring and considers how sociocultural learning and development is shaped as a result of children's contributions as translators.