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Con el nopal pegado en la frente: A psychosocial study of prejudice and discrimination among Mexican immigrants and Mexican Americans in Arizona

Hernandez Jimenez, Natalia (2016) Con el nopal pegado en la frente: A psychosocial study of prejudice and discrimination among Mexican immigrants and Mexican Americans in Arizona. PhD thesis, University of Essex.

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Abstract

In this thesis I develop a psychosocial approach to prejudice and discrimination among the Mexican-origin population in the U.S. state of Arizona. I argue that although the Mexican-origin population has been oppressed and discriminated against by the dominant white population for centuries, this minority group has its own history of intra-group prejudice and discrimination. Moreover, I argue that the attitudes and behaviours of Mexican immigrants and Mexican Americans, and the interactions between them, are influenced by three main elements: 1) structural factors (such as exploitation and inequality); 2) dominant ideologies (such as colonisation and white supremacy/superiority) and; 3) cultural commonalities between Mexican immigrants and Mexican Americans (in particular, the Spanish language). Within this context, I employed approximately thirty free association narrative interviews, notes based on ethnographic and participant observations, amongst other data sources (such as newspaper articles and informal interviews), to reveal much about the unconscious dynamics and processes under which Mexican immigrants and Mexican Americans interact. In the first half of the thesis I describe the social and political context of Arizona, which includes the history of the Mexican-origin population in that state as well as the implementation of the anti-immigration law, Senate Bill 1070 and its effects on the Mexican-origin population. In addition to this, I describe the methodology I used to conduct this research (participants, types of interviews and analysis of the collected data). In the second half of the thesis, I analyse prejudice and discrimination coming from ‘outside’ and ‘inside’ the Mexican-origin population with the use of psychoanalytic (Freud, Klein, Dalal), sociological (Douglas, Jimenez, Clarke) and post-colonial theories (Fanon, Memmi, Bhabha). In conclusion, I argue that the phenomenon of prejudice and discrimination among Mexican immigrants and Mexican Americans in Arizona cannot be reduced to psychological nor sociological explanations but that it needs to be addressed and approached by several disciplines.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Psychosocial studies, Psychoanalysis, Postcolonial Studies, Mexican immigration, Mexican Americans, Arizona, Prejudice, Discrimination
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GT Manners and customs
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies, Department of
Depositing User: Natalia Hernandez Jimenez
Date Deposited: 31 Mar 2017 15:33
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2017 15:33
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/19410

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