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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Cultural armor and living in the crossroads: Surviving and thriving through a Mexicana/mestiza critical feminist ethic of care
by Sosa-Provencio, Mia Angelica, Ph.D., New Mexico State University, 2014, 203; 3582402
Abstract (Summary)

Mexican/Mexican-Americans are native to this continent on both sides of the U.S./Mexico Border and while projections show a 300% population increase by 2050, the struggle for equity and educational access persist. This Chicana Critical Feminist Testimonio reveals a Mexican/Mexican-American Ethic of Care which creates schooling spaces in which Mexican/Mexican-American students find healing, dignity, and academic preparation necessary to build hopeful futures for themselves and their families.

This research reveals curriculum and pedagogy that embody a Mexican and Mexican-American Ethic of Care and the Testimonios of racialized struggle and survival that undergird it. Utilizing Testimonio as methodology, I conducted individual interviews, field observations, focus group interviews, and collected ongoing self-reflections and photographic data over the course of five months with four Mexican/Mexican-American female educators within a mid-sized U.S./Mexico border city.

The findings of this study reveal rootedness of a Mexican/Mexican-American Ethic of Care within intergenerational Testimonios and within the larger Mexican/Mexican-American struggle for equity and access. Findings likewise reveal that participants reconstruct notions of social justice revolution through a blurring and blending of mainstream notions of revolution. Within participants' knowledge of the professional, personal risk of fighting for social justice in visible ways reminiscent of. the 1960's Chicano Movement, participants fight for their Mexican/Mexican- American students beneath an ambiguous blurring–a mestizaje–which conceals and protects their long-term ability to do so. Their concealed Revolución is then fought by way of their tongue/language, physical bodies, and spirits as Revolucionistas– re-imagined and reconstructed Revolutionaries–who carry education as an ethical imperative.

Findings of this research have implications for educators at all levels and of all backgrounds to conceal and thereby sustain their battle for all marginalized students. Findings have implications for challenging mainstream constructs of success, for recruitment and retention of Mexican/Mexican-American teachers, and for rooting curriculum and pedagogy within Testimonios of resilience which position Mexican/Mexican-American students not within oppression frameworks but within the complexity of their intellectual and resistance legacies. Findings likewise have implications for researchers with regard to methodological reflexivity within decolonizing research epistemologies. Findings likewise challenge notions of researcher reciprocity and participants' inclusion as co-researchers within a Chicana Critical Feminist research epistemology.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Oesterreich, Heather A.
School: New Mexico State University
School Location: United States -- New Mexico
Source: DAI-A 76/07(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Pedagogy, Education, Curriculum development
Keywords: Chicana Chicano Mestizo Mestiza, Critical Ethic of Care, Critical Feminist Testimonio, Mexican-American Teachers Students, Social Justice Equity Educational Access, Testimonio as Methodology
Publication Number: 3582402
ISBN: 978-1-321-62050-4
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