Drawing from the educational experiences of fifty-four undocumented immigrant college students, Laura E. Enriquez seeks to uncover the concrete ways in which social capital is used to successfully navigate K–12 educational institutions and pursue a higher education. Enriquez argues that there is a need for a more grounded understanding of how marginalized individuals develop and use social capital. She finds that undocumented immigrant students receive emotional and financial support from multiple actors, including family members, peers, and teachers. Yet undocumented students require informational resources specific to their legal status, which tend to be provided by other undocumented students rather than by traditional institutional agents. Looking specifically at how these students utilize their social capital, Enriquez shows that undocumented immigrant students participate in patchworking, the haphazard piecing together of various resources, in order to achieve their educational goals. Additionally, their use of social capital is not dictated by expectations of direct reciprocity but, rather, by a more collectivist framework of empowerment. Ultimately,the findings from this study suggest that reconceptualizing one's social network as a"family" more aptly captures the nature of undocumented immigrant students' social capital while also providing an opportunity to empower marginalized communities.

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