by Francesca Meloni
Rutgers University Press, 2024
Paper: 978-1-9788-3549-8 | Cloth: 978-1-9788-3550-4 | eISBN: 978-1-9788-3552-8
Library of Congress Classification JV7281.M45 2023
Dewey Decimal Classification 305.906912097143

Ways of Belonging examines the experiences of undocumented young people who are excluded from K–12 schools in Canada and are rendered invisible to the education system. Canadian law doesn’t mention the existence of undocumented children, and thus their access to education rests on discretionary practices and is often denied altogether. This book brings the stories of undocumented young people vividly alive, putting them into conversation with the perspectives of the different actors in schools and courts who fail to include these young people.

Drawing on long-term ethnographic fieldwork, Francesca Meloni shows how ambivalence shapes the lives of young people who are caught between the desire to belong and the impossibility of fully belonging. Meloni pays close attention to these young people’s struggles and hopes, showing us what it means to belong and to endure in contexts of social exclusion. Ways of Belonging reveals the opacities and failures of a system that excludes children from education and puts their lives in invisibility mode.

An interview with the author (

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