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In this study, Irene I. Blea describes the social situation of La Chicana, a minority female whose life is influenced by racism and sexism. Blea analyzes contemporary scholarship on race, class, and gender, scrutinizing the use of language and labels to examine how La Chicana is affected by these factors. The wide-ranging study explores the history of Chicanas and the meaning of the term Chicana, and considers her socialization process, the consequences of deviating from gender roles, and the evolution of Hispanic women onto the national scene in politics, health, economics, education, religion, and criminal justice. To date, little attention has been paid to the political, social, and cultural achievements of La Chicana. The shared lives of Mexican-American women and men at home and inside and outside of the barrio are also investigated. This unique volume highlights the variables that effectively discriminate against women of color.
Following a chapter that reviews the literature on Chicanas and focuses on their participation in three major social movements, the text discusses the conquest of Mexico and the blending of Aztec and Spanish cultures. Next, the life of colonial Hispanic women in Mexico and the United States and the role of the Mexican War in shaping the Mexican-American experience are investigated. The following three chapters explore how Americanization disempowered La Chicana; discuss the contemporary cultural roles of la mujer (woman) and their impact on men's roles; and consider the lives of older women. Chapter Seven looks at how some women are defining new roles for La Chicana. Current social issues are compared with and contrasted to those of the 1960s. The final chapters develop a theory of discrimination based on the academic work of racial and ethnic minority scholars and feminist scholars, exploring new directions in the study of Chicanas. This volume is valuable as an undergraduate or graduate text, and as a reference work, as well as a useful resource for social service providers.
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About the Author
IRENE I. BLEA is Director of Hispanic Student Services at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. Before she accepted this administrative position, she was a full professor at Metropolitan State College in Denver for eleven years. Her publications include Toward a Chicano Social Science (Praeger, 1988)
ssemer: A Sociological Perspective of a Chicano Barrio
and numerous poems.
Table of Contents
Chicana Scholarship and the Third World Perspective
Spanish Impact on the Changing Roles of New World Women
Colonial Women, Women of the Mexican-American War, and Women of the Mexican Revolution
Americanization: Loss of Female Power and Prestige
Contemporary Cultural Roles
Cultural Synthesis: Breaking Barriers and Defining New Roles
Current Social Issues
Theoretical Perspectives on the Intersection of Gender, Class, and Ethnicity
New Directions in Chicana Feminist Theory and Practice