Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

“Of the community, for the community”: The Chicana/o student movement in California's public higher education, 1967-1973
by Moreno, Marisol, Ph.D., University of California, Santa Barbara, 2009, 431; 3379535
Abstract (Summary)

This study examines the Chicana/o student movement in Southern California colleges from 1967 to 1973. Using oral histories, movement newspapers, university archives, and government documents, I argue that Chicana/o student activists centered their organizational identities, activities, and goals on servicing the Mexican American community. Given the diminutive presence of Mexican Americans in higher education, student activists tapped into the social networks and resources, the collective identity, the ideology, and the tactics and strategies of the Chicano Movement to launch a Chicana/o student movement for educational equity.

Using a case study approach, the dissertation focuses on four campuses, East Los Angeles College, the University of California, Santa Barbara, the University of California, San Diego, and California State College, Long Beach to examine how students created organizations; participated in multi-ethnic coalitions; mobilized and affirmed non-white racial and gendered identities; and engaged in protest politics. This work reveals that in the course of participating in barrio and campus struggles, students build a sense of community, which in turn helped to develop and sustain the Chicano Movement’s solidarity and collective action over a period of time.

The intent of this study is to demonstrate the critical role of Chicana/o student activism in the Chicano Movement and California student movement. In addition to providing a voice for their barrios, Chicana/o student activists pressured state colleges and universities to act and expand on the 1960 Master Plan of Higher Education’s mandate to service all segments of California’s communities. Despite the Chicana/o student movement’s inability to sustain its political momentum and to actualize all of its goals, it yielded significant institutional and cultural changes, among which include the creation of Chicana/o Studies departments and curricula; an increased enrollment of Mexican Americans and other Latina/os into higher education; and the production of a generation of professionals and leaders infused with an ethos of social justice and community service.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Garcia, Mario T.
Commitee: Cline, Sarah, O'Connor, Alice
School: University of California, Santa Barbara
Department: History
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 70/11, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: American history, Education history, Hispanic American studies, Higher education
Keywords: California, Chicano movement, Chicano student movement, History of higher education, MEChA, UMAS, United Mexican American Students
Publication Number: 3379535
ISBN: 9781109483833