Alma M. Garcia
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Alma Garc’a offers a bold new interpretation of identity formation for second generation immigrants in America. The narratives of Mexican American women in higher education reveal their journeys of self-discovery, a process filled with tensions, contradictions, and ambiguities. Garc’a captures the spirit of their struggles to understand their sense of self, culture, and society. Her qualitative analyses reveal the emergent processes by which these women negotiate ethnic, gender, and class identities with their Mexican immigrant parents and with their university communities. Garc’a integrates a wide range of theoretical frameworks to study educational life experiences. Her findings offer significant insight into the processes of cultural continuity and change and the potential for upward mobility for immigrants. Garc’a proposes new university policies and curriculum changes to improve the situation for second-generation students. She calls for the reform of higher education in the United States, to open its doors more widely to Mexican American students and other underrepresented groups, to make the educational system truly reflective of the ethnic diversity that has always formed the core of American society. Garc’a’s new book is a valuable contribution to Mexican American studies, ethnic studies, women’s studies, comparative education, and sociology.
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Alma Garcia is professor of sociology at Santa Clara University. She is the author of Chicana Feminist Thought: The Basic Historical Writings. Her research includes Chicano/a studies, race, class and gender, and qualitative research methods.
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