Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

California and the pathologizing of the Mexican: Body, food, agriculture
by De Santiago-Barrows, Matilde, M.A., California State University, Long Beach, 2010, 75; 1486633
Abstract (Summary)

This thesis will substantiate that California society in the early twentieth century pathologized the Mexican body, agriculture, and diet, as evidenced through California and United States agricultural practices, literature, and language. Eugenicists studying genetic links in the human population became involved in the expansion and marketing of agriculture in California, importing pseudo-scientific language to pathologize the Mexican body and food. Echoing historical ethnic prejudices, Californians held epidemiological fears towards the Mexican body, expressed through numerous industrial, journalistic, government, and personal accounts on disease and sanitation in the Mexican body, Mexican food, and Mexican agriculture. The sensationalism of the epidemiologically threatening Mexican would ultimately serve to underscore stereotypes of a racist social hierarchy in which California and U.S. policy aimed to preserve a perceived American purity by excluding people, words, and even foods from the United States.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Quam-Wickham, Nancy
School: California State University, Long Beach
School Location: United States -- California
Source: MAI 49/02M, Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Hispanic American studies
Publication Number: 1486633
ISBN: 9781124279817
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