It has become apparent to many scholars of Chicana/o History that the explosive growth and diversification in research and interpretation now requires the community to pause and evaluate where the field has been, and where it might go in the future.1 Thus, the conference "Towards a New Chicana/o History," held at Michigan State University, April 22-23, 1996, was organized at a timely juncture, and at a particularly exciting moment in terms of observing Chicana/o History. As a relatively new field - established less than two generations ago - Chicana/o History constitutes a living laboratory dedicated to the formation of a new academic discipline, born out of a social and political movement with which it remains closely intertwined. For historians who are interested in the writing of history and the forces which affect it - that which we call historiography - the evolution of Chicana/o History offers the opportunity to observe in the making a process of intellectualization that historiographers traditionally have had to extract from documents after the fact, after the writers of a particular history are dead."
The United States is populated by people from most of the nations of the world who represent a diversity of cultures. Throughout its history, this nation has been able to accommodate these populations — some more easily than others — depending on the time and circumstances of their entry to this country. The usual history of an immigrant group (besides those who have been conquered such as the American Indian and the Spanish-speaking) has been that of settlement in urban areas and occupying the lower strata of society; having made an early resolution in favor of acculturation, they have begun the relatively slow process of vertical social mobility.
Juan J. Bustamante
Historically, women’s immigration to the United States has been understudied by social scientists. Men’s migration dominates the migration literature, while women’s migration is relegated to a second position. Recently, this skewed pattern is changing; though still, when research focuses on women, there is a tendency of only women scholars to undertake migration and gender studies. Thus, the intent of this paper is to fill a research gap related to gender and migration.
Brian W. McNeill
Views expressed in the Occasional Papers Series are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of the Julian Samora Research Institute or Michigan State University. Abstract: This paper describes the development of a course in Chicano/Latino Psychology along with the objectives, content, and activities associated with the course. In addition, I describe my 2-year odyssey in encountering and negotiating the academic politics, resistances, and barriers that were placed before me in gaining university approval to teach this course. Based on my experiences, I will attempt to provide recommendations for overcoming the maze of academic politics for others who wish to offer similar courses, as well as future trends in designing courses in Chicano/Latino Psychology.
Creation of a university community that is (a) welcoming and culturally-inclusive (i.e., promotes cultural ambience) and (b) where members are committed to promoting cultural ambience to help Chicana/o students academically persist and succeed is essential to the task of retaining Chicana/o students. That is, the cultural beliefs and values of Chicana/o students must be reflected in their different academic and personal environments to the extent that they can succeed in their environments without needing to hide or change their cultural identities (Gloria and Robinson-Kurpius, 1996). For what reasons would institutions of higher education not want to provide culturally-relevant learning environments relevant for all students and faculty? Unfortunately, the answer to this complex question may be partly accounted for by the need of some to control economic, political, and social resources and opportunities. Because the Latino population will increase more quickly than the national growth rate over the next 20 years (Chapa and Valencia, 1993), the school-aged population of Chicana/os will also reflect these demographic changes (Nevárez-La Torre and Hidalgo, 1997). As a result, social, political, and cultural changes within academia are inevitable.
The purpose of this paper is to provide sociodemographic and HIV risk profiles for Mexican/Chicano farmworkers. Data are drawn from both qualitative and quantitative survey research. The author found that at least four major HIV exposure categories increase farmworkers vulnerability to infection: prostitution use, sex between men, needle sharing, and gender-related obstacles. Although Mexican migrant laborers have high knowledge about the major modes of HIV transmission, they also hold many misconceptions about contracting HIV, including mosquito bites, public bathrooms, kissing on the mouth, being coughed on, and giving blood. Mexican migrants used condoms far more often with secondary or occasional sex partners as compared to primary sex partners. The reasons for not using condoms with intimate regular sex partners include: suspicion of infidelity, female partner already using birth control, and couple’s desire to have children. Predictors of condom use include: condom-related social norms, attitudes, and efficacy. Condom efficacy appears to be the central factor in condom use with occasional sex partners. The study recommends to increase proper and consistent condom use with secondary sex partners; communicate basic HIV/AIDS information to Mexican farmworkers in Spanish; develop and deliver focused, single-session interventions given the transient nature of farm work; and deliver intervention messages separately for men and women. The author concludes that culturally competent HIV prevention research and direct services are urgently needed to prevent the high probability of an AIDS epidemic among the Mexican/ Chicano farmworkers.
The present conference on Chicano Psychology marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of Chicano/Mestizo Psychology. I introduced the term "mestizo psychology" in my book entitled Psychology of the Americas: Mestizo Perspectives in Personality and Mental Health in 1983, but the birth of Chicano Psychology dates back to 1973, when the first conference on Chicano Psychology was held at the University of California at Riverside (Ramirez and Castaneda, 1973). I am frequently asked by my White colleagues: "Why propose a psychology specific to one group of people? After all, psychology is a science and as such should be universal and applicable to everyone." My answer is that there is a need for a Chicano/Mestizo Psychology for three reasons: (a) Mainstream psychology does not reflect the psychological reality of Latinos and other peoples of color; (b) mainstream psychology does not embody the spirit of the movement for social justice characterized by the African American, Chicano, and Native American-Indian civil rights movements; and (c) Mexican psychology and established Latin American psychology are not based on the socio-historico-political realities of Latinos in the Americas, but are mere translations of Anglo/Western European Psychology from English into Spanish This paper presents the historical origins, the tenets, and a summary of recent developments in Chicano/Mestizo psychology. It argues for the need to continue the struggle to ensure that a psychological science that is truly Mestizo and multicultural at its core continues to evolve and to survive.
When the Mexican American family's attempt to heal a troubled member fails, either by seeking out western medicine, psychotherapy, or the saints, curanderismo may be considered as a viable alternative form of intervention. However, opportunity for efficacious care may be thwarted by a psychologist/psychiatrist trying to "sell" their system of treatment and disease classification. Some challenges with traditional psychiatry and psychology are rooted in the nosological system used for assessment, diagnosis and treatment recommendations. Although the symptom profile for a culture-bound syndrome may mimic the clinical profile of a "standard" DSM disorder, the sequale of the disorder as well as the diagnostic, assessment and treatment protocol may differ significantly. The DSM-IV has made strides in terms of mentioning some cultural syndromes, however differential diagnosis, etiological considerations, and appropriate treatment protocols continue to be a challenging theme for mental health care providers. This paper seeks to overview some of the cultural stepping stones in the current classification system. Issues of family support, curanderismo, and differential diagnoses will also be discussed.
Ester Ruiz Rodriguez
Abuse directed at women by male partners has become recognized as a major health problem. Certain characteristics in the Latino culture have been thought to influence the occurrence of violence in the family. The prevalence of domestic violence from data collected in three sites (rural U.S., urban U.S., and Mexico) in a sample of 450 Latinas is presented. Cultural factors enabling abuse and factors discouraging abuse, as identified by focus group participants, will be shared. The association between domestic abuse, acculturation level, and self-esteem will also be described. Prevention and treatment approaches will be discussed.
This paper addresses the need for a paradigm shift in the study of violence in the lives of Chicana/os. A justice-based model of research and practice will be proposed which situates social, familial, and interpersonal violence. This model is derived from a 3-year study of Chicanos and Latinos whose life narratives contest oppression and re-tell stories of survival and hope.
Dionicio Nodin Valdes
It is very important to insert Chicana and Chicano Studies scholarship into global examinations of history and current events. While there are occasional discussions of the topic, our understanding of Chicanas/Chicanos in global perspectives tends to be quite limited. Most of our literature is still dominated by local or Southwestern regional perspectives.
This paper describes results from interviews with Mexican American children in grades 2-12 and interviews with their parents about their developmental model (ethnic perspective-talking ability). It focuses on children's responses to questions about ethnic pride (why someone would not like being Mexican American) and internalized racism (why they like being Mexican American). The research suggested four developmental levels in their responses to these questions (physical, literal, social, and group perspectives). These interview responses will be compared to similar interviews conducted with African American children, children from two different racial groups in Guatemala, and international children born in Latin America and living in the U.S.
Although there is a clear understanding that migration is stressful, the mental health consequences of internal migration within the boundaries of the United States and, specifically, labor related migration has very limitedly been studied.
Literature suggests that clinical depression is a major public health problem. Latinos are significantly at high risk for depression and in need of culturally-responsive mental health services. Conventional self-report depression assessment methods display limited predictive power. Fortunately, computer-assisted assessment methods offer alternatives to overcome the psychometric and cultural limitations of self-report measures. Most importantly, computerized speech recognition promises to enhance the early and accurate detection of depressed mood and symptoms. The author developed, tested, and evaluated several bilingual computerized speech recognition (voice-interactive) depression screening programs that verbally interviewed English and Spanish speakers using the Center for Epidemiological Studies - Depression scale (CES-D). The bilingual computer programs were evaluated for psychometric properties and the relationship of depression levels to demographics, acculturation, and speech behavior. The studies provided evidence that the bilingual voice-interactive speech recognition applications were generally feasible to administer, reliable, valid, and equivalent (means and variabilities) to standard interview (face-to-face and paper-and-pencil) methods. The English and Spanish-speaking samples positively rated the automated interviews. The findings suggested that the applications were culturally and linguistically viable tools for screening depression. The potential of the analysis of speech behavior and voice characteristics for accurately detecting depression among Chicanos/Latinos is discussed.
Elizabeth M. Vera
This presentation will describe the content of interviews conducted with Chicano children, adolescents, and their families who reside in an urban community and attend local schools. The goal of these interviews was to have the community identify aspirations it had for the children, barriers which may impede progress toward these goals, and resources both available and needed which would serve to enhance community life. The importance of the family, relationships, issues of personal safety, and the school as a central component of the community were among the topics discussed in the interviews. Areas of consensus and divergence among the various participants will be highlighted and the implications for prevention planning will be discussed.
Roger Horowitz & Mark Miller
This paper seeks to provide an overview of and background to the integration questions arising from the immigrant influx of the 1990's. It is based on interviews conducted over the summer of 1997, and newspaper reports, books, and documents pertaining to the poultry-processing industry and immigration to the U.S. respectively. The focus of the research has been upon Georgetown and environs in Delaware to provide insights into broader changes affecting the Delmarva peninsula. The paper is comprised of five segments: first, an overview of the poultry-processing industry in the region and its growing use of immigrant workers; second, a discussion of the dynamics of the immigrant influx of the 1990's; third, a sketch of the immigrant population and its impact on the Georgetown; fourth, implications of this case study for federal immigration policy; and fifth, discussion of state and local immigrant integration measures.
A few years ago, feeling pressured by the veritable boom in immigration research that had taken place in the last 20 years, I felt the need to order such a vast territory conceptually. To do so, I came up with the analogy of a map - a conceptual map to guide us through the issues and approaches that pertain to this topic (Pedraza-Bailey, 1990). The map I drew then had its East-West and North-South coordinates, as well as its main highways, blue highways, and unpaved roads. I still think that map provided a nice guide to those looking for their way in the vast territory that immigration studies encompass. Thus, I thought that to assess the significant contributions of Latino Studies to immigration research in the social sciences, I would begin to use this same image of the map, bringing in selected works of research on Latino studies to illustrate my conceptual map.
As a composer, I have often found myself struggling with musical ideas, or compositional problems, for a long time and to find the elusive solution listening to a "non-classical" composition. The opposite struck me as I was listening to a couple of Eddie Palmieri's compositions, like Adoración (composed in 1973), and I wondered why the avant garde musical movement in Puerto Rico, during the late 60's and 70's, never acknowledged this fine piece of Salsa and Latin Jazz, or incorporated its innovations. During the time I started researching turn-of-the-century Puerto Rican music social history, these situations emerged in my inquiry as questions. Why, if musical practices coexist in the same social context, do innovations in particular genres seem not to affect one another? In the case of Puerto Rico in particular, and the Caribbean in general, I learned that different genres and musical traditions were performed by the same nucleus of musicians (including composers), though, popular and classical compositions seemed impermeable to each other.2 The impermeability of these two genres is expressed in the convention of regarding both as being "together" or equal as cultural activities and in their social functionality, but thinking that for some intrinsic value they are meant to be segregated, or not scrambled. That impermeability is what I would like to explore in this paper.
The development of Latino studies over the past 25 years has focused on the examination, analysis, and expansion of the knowledge base of Latino origin persons and communities in the U.S.. Within the academy, questions of legitimacy as a focus of scholarly inquiry were confronted by Latino Studies scholars. While, the development of Latino Studies has established its tradition to include systematic analysis of the Latino experiences with a dimension of the application of the knowledge for social change and empowerment of the Latino community. This paper portrays the development of Latino Studies, particularly in the realm of politics, power, and policy. In this discussion, three themes will be developed: a) nature and development of Latino Studies over the past 25 years; b) development and impact of Latino scholars on the Political Science profession; and c) the impact of Latino Studies scholarship on the discipline of Political Science. This paper was prepared for the Julian Samora Research Institute's conference on Transforming the Social Sciences through Latino Studies held at Michigan State University, April, 1997.
The history of Asian American feature films in the United States is generally considered to begin in 1982 with Wayne Wang's Chan is Missing, in the same way that the history of American Latino film is usually dated from Luis Valdez's 1981 Zoot Suit.1 Since that time a number of dedicated directors and screenwriters have added features to the list, some via Hollywood and others through an independent route. Still, it remains difficult for filmmakers in either group to find funding for their feature projects. On the academic side, there has been a parallel growth in literature analyzing these films. However, thus far most analysts confine themselves to looking at one or more films within each ethnic grouping, rather than comparing works across ethnic lines. This article is intended as a preliminary exploration in that direction.2 Given that these two ethnic groups have significant commonalities as well as important divergences, we should expect such analysis to turn up both similarities and differences in the two film traditions. Both groups, for example, occupy the status of linguistic minorities in the United States. At the same time, their histories and the manner in which they became incorporated into this country vary considerably. While generalizations are always risky, I would like to suggest that minority filmmakers have historically been engaged in six broad tasks as cultural workers: 1. Moving ethnic minorities to center stage. While there is no shortage of minority representation in mainstream American films, there is no question that non-whites are generally marginalized in such films. The role of protagonist is largely reserved for "White," or European-American actors. Minority characters tend to occupy positions as sidekicks, allies, local color, villains, victims, and "others" in general. Minority filmmakers have therefore made the effort to center their stories around members of their own ethnic group. This is as true of Latino and Asian-American filmmakers as of their African-American and Native-American counterparts. 2. Countering stereotypes. One of the central complaints made about mainstream American films is the persistent stereotyping of non-Whites. Minority filmmakers have employed an array of strategies for countering this historical pattern. One technique employed by such filmmakers as Robert Townsend, Hollywood Shuffle3 and "Cheech" Marin, Born in East L.A.4 is to spoof these stereotypes through parody and exaggeration. More commonly, minority filmmakers combat stereotypes by revealing the diversity that exists within their particular communities. By showing a range of characters along dimensions of class, generation, sexual orientation, and specific cultural practices, these filmmakers seek to negate the notion that "they're all alike." 3. Critiquing racism and ethnocentrism. Many though by no means all features by minority filmmakers explicitly point out and critique racist and ethnocentric practices in society at large on both individual and institutional levels. From Luis Valdez's Zoot Suit, to Spike Lee's Do the Right Thing, to Peter Wang's and Shirley Sun's A Great Wall, these filmmakers are concerned with demonstrating the continuing effects of both historical and contemporary discrimination on ethnic minority communities. 4. Reclaiming and reinterpreting history. While the television series Roots is perhaps the best known example of this, minority filmmakers from all ethnic groups are aware that the histories of their peoples have been forgotten, neglected, or distorted in American schools and in the media. Many minority features are therefore concerned with rediscovering or reinterpreting these histories from the perspectives of their respective communities. 5. Exploring non-mainstream cultures. Sometimes minority filmmakers are concerned with exploring a particular ethnic culture not specifically for the purpose of countering stereotypes, but rather to elucidate the richness of that tradition, and lend clarity to the sorts of issues that people in these communities deal with on a day to day basis. One gets a sense of this endeavor by examining such films as Valdez's La Bamba, Wayne Wang's Dim Sum, and Spike Lee's She's Gotta Have It. 6. Contending with issues of assimilation. One of the thorniest sets of issues facing Latino and Asian-American cultural workers is that having to do with assimilation, acculturation, cultural retention, and cultural self determination. Some filmmakers choose to champion a position explicitly encouraging cultural resistance, while others opt for a more ambiguous position. Often a filmmaker will present numerous characters from different generations in order to illustrate the types of intra-family and intra-community tensions engendered by the process of assimilation. This topic is explored in greater depth below, in connection with the analysis of specific films.
Willie Colón is a famous, world renowned Puerto Rican salsa singer from New York City who has maintained a never-compromising, radical, oppositional voice for 30 years. In Por Eso Canto (That's Why I Sing), a 1993 recording, Willie Colón provides his most powerful and explicit explanation of how he has come to accept his political responsibilities as a singer. In general, Por Eso Canto can be seen as Willie Colón's critique of those who do not or cannot recognize the transformative, emancipatory possibilities of their work and of their cultural practices. Since the late 1960's, Willie Colón has been an ardent critic of musicians who define and perform Salsa music as just another form of individual or social entertainment, rather than as a political, or cultural project. When you listen to his music and when you read his interviews in magazines and newspapers, you are most likely to find Willie Colón exposing the hypocrisy embedded in music, which detaches music from the most important political issues and conditions facing Puerto Ricans and other Latina/o people in the United States, Latin America, and the Caribbean.
In the course of this presentation I will talk about my family's work in the area of Chicano Studies, notably that of my brother, Richard, and my sister, Angie. In no way should any of this be taken as any kind of an exemplar - that is not what this is about. It is, however, about us ( Latinos) studying ourselves as academics and what Angie, has called "the need for Chicano scholars to engage in oppositional ethnography."
Refugio Rochin & Elaine Allensworth
In this report, we examine the processes affecting the rates of concentration, or “Latinization,” of rural communities in California. These processes include the changing demographics of both Latinos and non-Latino Whites, between and within communities. We also examine the extent to which Latino concentration and White exodus correlate with declining socio-economic conditions. Our analysis is based on data collected on over 280 California communities, covering the demographic and economic changes that have occurred in each community between 1980 and 1990. We also apply regression analysis to determine how changes in ethnic composition affect socio-economic conditions. In addition, we incorporate more recent information from a qualitative study of four communities in Fresno and Tulare Counties. This information comes from focus groups and interviews with local leaders in our selected communities from which we derive a “qualitative sense” of why people move and what people consider to be the changing socio-economic conditions of their respective communities. Altogether, we combine information from both the quantitative “macro” perspective with the qualitative “micro” perspectives, to understand the determinants of Latino concentration, White exodus, and the notions people have about community conditions. The article concludes by discussing policy implications of this research, as well as implications for future research.
As a formally recognized field of study and teaching, Latina/o Studies started in the late 1960's in the Chicano Southwest and in Puerto Rican New York. The origins of the various Chicano and Puerto Rican Studies programs at that time lay less in a slow evolution of scholarly interests than in the urgent demands of angry students and a few faculty who insisted that universities begin to meet the educational needs of undeserved local Latina/os. But in addition to activist concerns, intellectual issues were of critical importance to sociologists who were among the founding fathers and mothers of these programs. The study of race and ethnicity has been a major specialty within American sociology for the past century, but in the 60's few sociologists who were not directly involved with Latina/os knew or cared about them. This should not be too surprising. Almost all sociologists at that time were white, and if they thought at all about racial and ethnic cleavages in American society they thought first about African-Americans, and second about their own ancestors mostly immigrants from Europe. When I moved to California from Chicago as a new faculty member in the early 1960's, I had had absolutely no sociological exposure to Chicanos - and ethnicity was one of my primary specialties. I knew about one population of East Los Angeles - the Molokans, a minuscule Russian Protestant sect - but not about the Chicanos! The civil rights movement and racial unrest of the late 1960's - both on and off campus - gave sociologists even more cause to think about African-Americans. They were particularly concerned with what had gone wrong with sociological predictions about race. Very few paid any attention to parallel expressions of discontent in Chicano and Puerto Rican communities. Why? There were two main reasons. First, there was very little research literature on these populations, and what little existed was not widely circulated among sociologists. Looking at the bibliography we compiled for the Mexican-American Study Project in 1966, I count no more than a dozen books by and for sociologists about Mexican-Americans published by mainstream academic presses prior to 1965. What little there was on Mexican-Americans was largely focused on rural populations.1 Puerto Ricans, who began to migrate in large numbers between 1946 and 1964, attracted somewhat more sociological attention - probably because they settled in cities (like New York and Chicago) where mainstream sociology flourished. Several prominent sociologists, like C. Wright Mills and Nathan Glazer, undertook the study of these "new" migrants to their city, and they were joined by a few talented, though, less well-known researchers. However, because Latina/os were so heavily outnumbered in those cities by African-Americans and European ethnics, they tended to be overlooked, which was the second major reason for their neglect in those days. In Chicago, the Young Lords attracted nowhere nearly as much attention as the Black Panthers, for example. Thus, lack of research literature and the overshadowing by African-Americans were major reasons for sociological ignorance.2 American sociology was therefore taken by surprise at the very presence of Latina/o sociologists at the tumultuous convention of 1969, let alone at their expressions of discontent with the discipline. Since that time, Latina/o sociologists have become far more visible: the professional association actually has a section devoted solely to Latina/Latino sociology. The study of Latina/os has changed many sociological specialties. Nowhere, however, have the changes been as great as in the way in which sociologists conceptualize the Latino population itself - and especially the poorer members. Latina/os form such a large proportion of the poor that mainstream sociologists simply must pay attention to them. That is far less true for other specialties. It is a little artificial to limit this discussion to sociologists, since one of the main strengths of Latina/o studies is its indisciplinary nature. However, the remainder of this chapter will focus on how Latina/o studies has challenged sociological paradigms, both historically and more recently.
Richard Griswold del Castillo
Chicano historians have crossed disciplinary, political, cultural, ideological, and psychological borders to develop a new kind of history outside the boundaries of traditional narratives in American history. Latino and Chicano sociologists, anthropologists and psychologists write and teach Chicano history. Chicano Studies is a multi-disciplinary field, and this has encouraged all of us to go beyond narrow academic specializations in our conceptualization of historical topics and approaches. If one defining characteristic of postmodernism is the tendency to transcend boundaries and categories, then Chicano history has become increasingly post modern in the nineties. In 1978, when I wrote my first book, The Los Angeles Barrio, and tried to get it published, I was told that it was a "crack" book. The publishers meant that it did not quite fit into the categories of publications established by the university press. It employed sociological methodologies to analyze historical data, but it was not clearly a sociology text. It was not Western history. It was not Mexican history. What was it? It fell between the cracks of these categories. The implication was that it would be hard to evaluate, market, and sell. In the parlance of the 1990's, it was a book that had crossed the boundaries not only between recognized subcategories of American history, but also between methodological approaches. In the last fifteen years many more works on Chicano history have fallen through the cracks and, as it were, filled up the void. As a result, where once there was no category, we have invented one: multidisciplinary Chicana/o history. In crossing boundaries we have created new borders. Since 1990, there have been a number of historical works that have blurred the older traditional, intellectual, and disciplinary boundaries. Carlos Velez-Ibanez's newest book, Border Visions: Mexican Cultures of the Southwest and the United States, is one example. Velez is an anthropologist who writes history, sociology, art criticism, biography, and economics. The book is an example of border crossing scholarship that demonstrates how, in his words, "The borders of the mind, of cultural boundaries, of marginal identities are often disassembled and reconstructed in creative epistolaries . . . " During the last thirty years Chicano historians have created a new history, one that has never been told before, one that challenges the accepted approaches and themes in American historiography. Since 1990, more than forty monographs have appeared contributing to the development of Chicana/o history (see bibliography). Surveying some of the best examples, we can discern the creative, multi-disciplinary directions that Chicana/o history has taken.