The Continued Oppression of Middleclass Mexican Americans: An Examination of Imposed and Negotiated Racial Identities
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This dissertation examines the racial identities of middleclass Mexican Americans, and provides a focus on how racial oppression plays a significant role in the formation, negotiation, and organization of these identities. Providing theoretical, analytic, and conceptual balance between structure and agency, this dissertation addresses how these Mexican Americans continue to experience racism despite being middleclass and achieving socioeconomic parity with many middleclass whites. Drawing on 67 semistructured open ended interviews (1-3 hours each), 10 months of ethnography in Phoenix and San Antonio, as well as a descriptive analysis of the Alamo monument website and Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office 2011 press releases this dissertation examines how middleclass Latinos/as negotiate racialized identities and racial oppression. This research concludes that these respondents experience significant amounts of racism in the cities of Phoenix and San Antonio. The racial climates of these cities impose racist discourse about Latinos/as and ultimately reinforce and reinscribe existing racial hierarchies of the United States. Middleclass Mexican Americans utilize different identity practices to navigate the racism of these discourse by providing various negotiation, deflection, and resistance practices. Ultimately this dissertation recognizes that middleclass Mexican American identities are a constant negotiation of imposed racial identities and their own understandings of their racial self.
Delgado, Daniel Justino (2013). The Continued Oppression of Middleclass Mexican Americans: An Examination of Imposed and Negotiated Racial Identities. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from