The Difficult Ascención from Common Struggles to an Uncommon Understanding: A Study of the Complex Relationships Between Mexicans and Mexican Americans
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This study grew from two factors: a marriage between the primary investigator to a Mexicano and from a Chicana/o Narrative course. The first factor contributed to this study because the primary investigator, a fair-haired, blue-eyed Anglo female, had not previously been the recipient of racial prejudice until she married a man of color. This experience caused her to become more observant of interracial relations. This scrutiny exposed the complex relations that existed among Mexicans and Mexican Americans. This awareness only increased when this couple had a Mexican American child. But her interest in Mexican, Mexican American, and Chicano writers preceded the birth of their daughter. Since she had previously taken a Chicana/o Narrative she was able to convert her reflections on racial prejudice into ideas which in turn led to further questions. In an attempt to answer these questions, she has examined many different perspectives, as they relate to the complex relations among Mexicans and Mexican Americans. Each chapter discusses the struggles of the past and today that affect each group. By looking at social scientific studies, she discovers how cultural traditions, social and political privilege, the racial order, and economic hardships contribute to these struggles. She examines how these factors impact the identity of people from each group and how these identities relate to one another. She also examines Mexicans and Mexican American literary works of literature which, by treating identity, enable a better understanding of the challenges in creating a cross-cultural identity.