In this article, Dyrness and Sepúlveda argue that in El Salvador, young people are participants in a diasporic social imaginary that connects them with Salvadorans and other Latinos in the United States—before they have ever left the country. The authors explore how this transnational relationship manifests in two school communities in San Salvador: a private school long recognized as a gateway to the elite and a public school serving one of the most violent and impoverished urban marginalized communities in San Salvador. Focusing on two different contexts of socialization—“homeboy” expressive culture and school-based English instruction—they argue that both groups of students were experiencing contradictory forces of cultural socialization that are characteristic of the diaspora.

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