CSRC RESEARCH GRANTS 2008-2009

CULTURE CLASH: CRITICAL RACE SATIRE FOR URGENT TIMES

Principal Investigator: David G. Garcia, CSRC Postdoctoral Visiting Scholar
 
This project is an extension of Dr. Garcia’s dissertation on Culture Clash, a Chicano theater group based in Los Angeles. The group performs “revolutionary comedy” that deals with social and historical issues affecting Chicanos. Culture Clash, which formed in 1994, bases their plays on ethnographic research that they gather from various communities across the country. The historical and theatrical contributions of Culture Clash constitute a major aspect of Chicana/o efforts for social justice. Dr. Garcia will draw on critical race theory to examine six of Culture Clash’s works in terms of their historically accuracy and the public expression that they give to issues of race, gender, and class. The project will result in two articles and a draft for a book-length manuscript.
 

SUBCONTRACTORS AND SURROGATES: PRIVATIZATION AND DEFEDERALIZATION OF U.S. IMMIGRANT DETENTION PRACTICES

Principal Investigator: David Manuel Hernández, UCLA César E. Chávez Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies
 
This project will contribute a new theoretical framework for analyzing the detention of immigrant noncitizens by the federal government and the utilization of private detention centers or centers in other countries. Latino noncitizens are the largest group of persons currently held within immigrant detention centers, and Professor Hernandez plans to identify current trends in immigrant detention. The research will demonstrate how race and noncitizenship function historically in the establishment of statutes that create a detention process that results in the denial of individual rights. The project will result in an article.
 

BRIDGING THE GAP: HELPING LATINO FAMILIES CONNECT WITH LOS ANGELES PRESCHOOL SYSTEMS

Principal Investigator: Carollee Howes, UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies
 
This project will make a valuable contribution to ethnic studies and to the area of education policy studies. Using data from interviews with 116 mothers of Mexican and Central American descent, Professor Howes will analyze their perceptions of the available choices for and barriers to finding and using child care, early education, and preschool programs in Los Angeles. The project will result in two research articles and policy recommendations for improving Latino families’ access to and use of preschool programs.
 

ETHNIC IDENTITY AMONG MEXICAN AMERICANS

Principal Investigators: Vilma Ortiz and Edward Telles, UCLA Department of Sociology
 
This project examines ethnic identity among Mexican Americans using longitudinal and intergenerational data from the Mexican American Study Project (MASP). It will be important extension of the larger project. Professors Ortiz and Telles expect that ethnic contact (living with and interacting with others of Mexican origin) and ethnic markers (such as Spanish surname, darker phenotype, and limited or accented English) will lead to stronger expressions of ethnic identity. Professors Ortiz and Telles also will consider the relationship of class distinctions (working class versus middle class) to ethnic identity. This study will draw from a unique set of data based on information gathered from over Mexican American 1,400 respondents in Los Angeles and San Antonio. This research will make important theoretical and methodological contributions to Chicano studies by directly addressing ethnic identity.
 

THE SAXOPHONE-BASED CONJUNTO NORTEÑO: AN INNOVATIVE MUSICAL GENRE PROPELLING MEXICAN AMERICAN CULTURAL APPRECIATION AND AWARENESS

Principal Investigator: Jorge Andres Herrera, PhD student, UCLA Department of Ethnomusicology
 
This project focuses on norteño musical culture throughout the Southwest borderlands. Mr. Herrera will use interviews with musicians and audience members in Los Angeles, Texas, and northern Mexico (Sonora) to assess how norteño music has been adopted for the saxophone, how the adoption has been influenced by different urban and rural environments, and how norteño saxophone is stylized in different regions. Herrera will also study how norteño music influences the culture and the social identity of different Mexican and Chicano populations in different areas of the Southwest. Herrera expects to show that norteño music—and Latino cultural experience in general—is not closed to outside influences.
 

WHAT’S OK AT FOSHAY? A PORTRAIT OF AN ACADEMICALLY EFFECTIVE HIGH SCHOOL’S CONTRIBUTION TO LATINO ACADEMIC PREPARATION AND THE COLLEGE CHOICE PROCESS

Principal Investigator: Vanessa Ochoa, PhD student, UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies
 
This study will examine a successful model for preparing and transitioning Latino students from high school into higher education. Ochoa will observe two counselors at Foshay High School in South Central Los Angeles, one of the most successful schools in California for preparing minority students for college. The aim of the research is to show that when Latino students are given appropriate assistance, guidance, and overall encouragement, they can succeed academically and are prepared for higher education. Ultimately Ochoa plans to develop a “best practices” protocol for assisting and counseling Latino students who desire to prepare for and access higher education institutions.
Ochoa, Vanessa. 2007. “A Case Study Portrait: Effective Counseling for Latino High School Students.”  Presented at the TRPI 4th Annual Education Conference, October, Long Beach, CA.
 

THE ANTHROPOLOGICAL TEXTS OF JUAN RULFO

Principal Investigator: David Sarabia, PhD student, UCLA Department of Comparative Literature
 
Part of a sophisticated analysis of the intersection of Mexican and Chicano literary tradition, art, and history, this project will investigate the work that acclaimed novelist Juan Rulfo completed during his career as director and editor of the publishing department of Mexico’s National Indigenist Institute (INI), the center for anthropological study of Mexico’s native people. Mr. Sarabia will study Rulfo’s writing, his views on indigenismo, and the scientific mission of his public service career. He then plans to complete a comparative study of Rulfo and Tomas Rivera, which will not only add to the existing scholarship on these two writers but also develop a better understanding of the relationship between their fiction and their outstanding public service careers.
 

FEMALE IDENTITY IN MARIACHI PERFORMANCE

Principal Investigator: Leticia Soto, MA student, UCLA Department of Ethnomusicology
 
This study will examine the social and musical challenges that women have faced as they enter mariachi groups and how they have changed mariachi tradition and practices in the United States and in Mexico. Soto has identified five all-female mariachi groups to observe and interview, four in Southern California and one in Mexico City. She will also attend the annual mariachi festival in Guadalajara to identify and interview female performers in mixed mariachi groups. This study will add to the knowledge on the changes that are occurring in a musical tradition that was once dominated by males.