Oral Stories of Three Generations of Women of Mexican Descent From South Texas

Abstract:
The study of "Three Generations of Women of Mexican Descent from South Texas" began with an interest concerning identity formation and how regionalism, ethnicity, spiritual and religious belief systems impact self-identification.  I interviewed eight subjects who met the above criteria using a questionnaire including the above-mentioned topics: to illicit responses about the subject's ethnic, regional, spiritual and religious identity.  The remaining two of the total ten subjects were interviewed by mail due to geographic distance and the final participant was myself who relied on journal writing to respond to questionnaire.

I hypothesized that spiritual and religious beliefs are cultural legacies passed on from grandmother to granddaughter and from mother to daughter.  And the belief system uncovered embodies a collective world view that illustrates the subjects' resiliency to life's challenges as women of Mexican descent sharing familial ties across the generations.  In so doing this study it re-inscribes and re-affirms our role in history as active agents.  I conclude the study with a coined phrase, "the personal is political" and add to it, "is also spiritual" to add a component that a belief in a Power greater than ourselves is an expression of a commitment to self-liberation and justice.

Author: 

Deborah Mata

Chair: 

Mary Jo Tippeconnic Fox

Publication: 

thesis

Year: 

1999

Arizona State Museum: 

M9791 M3925o
College of Social and Behavioral Sciences