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Coming of Age in Madrid

An Oral History of Unaccompanied Moroccan Migrant Minors

Susan Plann is UCLA Research Professor of Chicano Studies and Spanish and Portuguese, having retired in 2017. She is the author of three books and numerous articles. Her study of the Spanish Deaf community as a linguistic and cultural minority called for comparison of Spanish Sign Language with Spain’s co-official languages (Basque, Catalan, Galician, …), and this sparked an interest in the status of the Arabic language in Spain. The result was an important article on this topic, which involved qualitative interviewing which in turn led to the research presented in Coming of Age in Madrid.

Laura Mijares, Professor of Linguistic and Oriental Studies, Universidad Complutense, Madrid
Coming of Age in Madrid is a work of thoroughly done research, showing the complex, difficult, and in some ways also fascinating lives of unaccompanied Moroccan minors who migrate to Spain. Susan Plann, a sensitive listener, prompts us to pay attention to the voices of those who are usually silenced. Through personal interviews over a period of six years starting in Tangier and ending in Madrid, this study encourages us to rethink our ideas about what democracy and justice mean in the global North. In a context of growing racism and Islamophobia, this is an incisive and indispensable book that could not be more timely.

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