CSRC Research Grants 2011-2012

New Transnational Hubs-Rewriting Race, Gender and Indigeneity in Los Angeles

Principal Investigator: Maylei Blackwell, UCLA César Chávez Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies
 
This project documented transnational community building and political involvement of migrant indigenous women active on the Indigenous Front of Bi-national Organizations, and Maya Vision. Its goal was to illuminate how these women advocate for themselves within an indigenous rights framework by using a critical intersectional perspective approach, combining oral histories, community ethnography, and digital storytelling.
 

Segregation in a South Texas Community from 1915 through the late 1970s

Principal Investigator: Jennifer Rose Najera, UC Riverside Department of Ethnic Studies
 
This small grant supported a student researcher as Dr. Najera finalized her manuscript.  Najera was the 2010-11 IAC postdoctoral visiting scholar at the CSRC. Her book will present an historical ethnography about the culture of segregation in a South Texas community from 1915 through the late 1970s, examining the various stages of segregation, from its early establishment in the first part of the twentieth century, to its accommodated form in the 1940s, to its gradual unraveling after the Civil Rights and Chicano movements.  This work promises to make significant contributions to the fields of Chicano Studies, Ethnic Studies, and Anthropology.
 

ON THE MOVE AND IN THE MOMENT: COMMUNITY FORMATION, IDENTITY, POLITICS, AND OPPORTUNITY IN SOUTH CENTRAL LOS ANGELES, 1945-PRESENT

Principal Investigator: Abigail Rosas, USC Department of American Studies and Ethnicity
 
This grant supported a student researcher at the CSRC to assist Rosas, an IAC postdoctoral visiting scholar. The applicant’s dissertation, On the Move and in the Moment: Community Formation, Identity, Politics, and Opportunity in South Central Los Angeles, 1945-Present, examines the community formation of Latina/o and African American residents in South Central Los Angeles from the post World War II period to the present. Using archival research and oral life history, Rosas historicized the complexity of South Central Los Angeles’ African American and Latina/o residents’ racial attitudes, activism, and cooperation, as their lives have been constantly challenged by diminishing government services, economic disinvestment, and immigration reform.
 

THEORIZING THE IMPACTS OF RACE-BASED TRAUMA TO CHICANAS AND NATIVE WOMEN IN THE ACADEMY

Principal Investigator: Bert Maria Cueva, PhD student, UCLA Women’s Studies Department
 
This study examined a marginalized area in ethnic studies from a multidisciplinary “critical race theory” point of view:  the gendered impacts of race-based trauma to Native women and Chicanas in the advanced stages of the educational pipeline. Cueva showed the effects of racial/gender micro aggressions associated to race-based trauma within UC, and used testimonios as a methodology to facilitate the study’s participants and to name institutional social-political-discursive assaults on their paths towards academic careers. Funded by the Tamar Diana Wilson Fund.
 

DEPUTIZING DISRESPECT: HOW POLICY POISONS INTERGROUP INTERACTIONS

Principal Investigator: Liana Epstein, PhD student, UCLA Department of Psychology
 
This project addressed the potential impact of a current trends in immigration policy in the US deputizing police officers to enforce immigration ordinances (e.g., SB 1070 in Arizona), a trend, however, not seen among Los Angeles-based law enforcement agencies. With this grant, Epstein conducted an experiment with LASD officers probing the negative impact that policy can have on attitudes and behaviors. The pertinent policy point that this research project investigated is that of cross-deputization: an optional federal training program that deputizes law enforcement officers to search for undocumented immigrants, and to charge them for their presence in the U.S. This project then assessed the attitudes of 200 Los Angeles Sheriff officers by using self-report measurements, as well as behavioral outcomes through behavioral coding of videotaped interactions of the participants with a film of an argumentative Latino man.
 

IMMIGRANT VICTIMS AND THEIR ATTORNEYS BEFORE THE LAW: THE PROCESS OF ACQUIRING SAFETY AND FREEDOM THROUGH LEGAL STATUS IN THE UNITED STATES

Principal Investigator: Sarah Morando, PhD student, UCLA Department of Sociology
 
This study focused on the issue of legal status acquisition process for unauthorized immigrant crime victims residing in the United States. It is based on the applicant’s dissertation, which involved a three-year period of ethnographic participant observation research within a non-profit immigration legal aid organization in Los Angeles (Equal Justice of Los Angeles). In this project, based on ethnographic notions, the applicant plans to continue collecting in-depth interviews of clients and legal advocates, as well as taped micro-conversations. 
 

BUSHING THE BOUNDARIES OF CITIZENSHIP FROM THE INTERSECTIONS OF RACE, GENDER, AND IMMIGRATION STATUTES

Principal Investigator: Maureen Purtill, PhD student, UCLA Department of Urban Planning
 
This project utilized ethnographic methodologies and is part of the applicant’s dissertation plan. The project is based on critical race theory and transformative community development with the aim of understanding how organizing efforts of unauthorized immigrants may push the boundaries of the notion of what constitutes to be a citizen of the US. The applicant used a single holistic case study in order to explore how the organizing efforts of a collective of domestic workers are pushing such boundaries, including questions about formal, substantive, racial and economic citizenship. Participant observation, in-depth interviews, and archival research were a part of this research project.
 

TRANSLOCAL CITIZENSHIP: THE POLITICAL SUBJECTIVITY OF INDIGENOUS MEXICAN MIGRANTS

Principal Investigator: Gilda Rodriguez, PhD student, UCLA Department of Political Science
 
The applicant conducted interviews on the political practices of indigenous Mexican migrants in the Los Angeles area. This project supported Rodriguez’s dissertation work on how these migrants stay active in the governance of their communities of origin, including holding office. This exploratory project fills a gap in migrant literature in so far as migrant political involvement remains understudied as a subject. Rodriguez conducted semi-structured interviews with 75 to 100 migrants of Zapotec and Mixtec origin in the Los Angeles area.
 

INDIGENOUS PHILOSOPHICAL AND SOCIAL INFLUENCE ON CHICANA/O IDEOLOGY IN THE TWENTIETH CENTURY

Principal Investigator: Jose Serrano Najera, PhD students, UCLA Department of History
 
This project utilized an oral history methodology to portray the social context of Chicana/o indigeneity. Najera’s goal was to demonstrate how Chicana/o indigeneity, based on oral tradition, has a disruptive effect on hegemonic understandings of indigeneity in Chicano Studies, the movement, or Mexican nationalist projects. Najera conducted oral interviews to answer this project’s questions and conducted archival research. 
 

OBESITY, DIETARY BEHAVIORS, ACCULTURATION AMONG LATINOS IN CALIFORNIA

Principal Investigator: Joelle Wolstein, PhD student, UCLA School of Public Health
 
This project highlighted the critical issue of obesity among Latinos in the U.S. Employing data from the 2009 California Health Interview Survey, Wolstein, via regression analysis, researched whether certain dietary behaviors and obesity are dependant on levels of acculturation.
 
Special Course by IAC-Funded Scholar
Najera, Jennifer Rose. Co-instruction with Professor Abel Valenzuela in Special Course in Chicano Studies (188-3): “Race and Segregation on Texas-Mexico Border,” Fall 2010.