Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Spencer E. Cahill


This ethnographic inquiry focuses on the lives and work off our Mexican- American women who run a center in the Mexican migrant farmworker community in which they live. Through the center, they provide vital services to their community such medical care, immigration assistance, educational and community outreach programs. Via these women's oral histories, this ethnographic work seeks to broaden our understanding of women who are fully aware of their subordinated status in the dominant society yet are not passive victims. By listening to their own voices, we learn how they overcome personal adversity and challenge cultural ideologies. In the process, these women have created meaningful lives. In addition, their work at the center enables them to act as bridges connecting the members of their community to the larger society. The data for this ethnographic work was gathered from May 1999 to March 2000. Weekly visits were made to the center. Field notes were compiled from personal interaction, observation and conversations with the participants as well as tape-recorded informal interviews. This work yields a remarkable picture of these women' resiliency, perseverance, determination and strength.

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