Investing in Social Capital Afterschool Activities and Social Affiliation in Immigrant Youth

October 1st, 2004 | RESEARCH

The 2000 Census indicates a significant increase in foreign-born and first-generation students in public schools, at a time when multicultural communities are challenging long-held notions about civic participation in America. This study of Teen Educators Advocating for Community Health (TEACH) illustrates how an innovative afterschool program attempted to nurture social capital and a sense of belonging in immigrant youth. Drawing on Robert Putnam’s distinction between the bonding and bridging forms of social capital, the study argues that afterschool programs can help immigrant youth develop affiliations with diverse others outside their own communities by developing relevant programming that engages youth with children and adults in a variety of informal settings. The study examines the particular TEACH activities—community service, career development, and a class on public health issues—and features that worked to foster new relationships, attitudes, and feelings of responsibility toward others: Focusing on social affiliation and its role in promoting civic engagement, the study explores how participation in such activities can help immigrant youth attend to the welfare of their own community and of the larger society.


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Team Members

Marc Camras, Author, University of California, San Diego


Publication: Afterschool Matters
Volume: Occasional Paper #3

Related URLs

NIOST Full Text


Audience: Educators | Teachers | Museum | ISE Professionals | Youth | Teen (up to 17)
Discipline: Education and learning science | Health and medicine
Resource Type: Peer-reviewed article | Research Products
Environment Type: Afterschool Programs | Public Programs