American Studies

Thesis Abstracts

Sara Padilla
To Choose is a Jailbreak : an Oral History of a Mexicana

It is my purpose in this thesis to explore, through oral testimony, the life of María del Refugio Hernández, my great-grandmother. The introduction addresses the methodology and problems surrounding oral historiography. The second chapter gives a brief over view of Mexican emigration northward from colonial times up until the Mexican Revolution. The third chapter focuses on the development of Mexicana/Chicana identity, and the problems associated with acculturation. The Fourth chapter is a narrative constructed from oral testimony that I gathered by myself, in the months of July and August of 1995. Finally, in the fifth chapter, I tried to orient this history within he context of a Mexicana/Chicana tradition of making their own history.