This thesis explores what "family" means to Mexican-Americans living in Northeastern Ohio. The methodology consisted of nine ethnographic interviews of Mexican-American individuals, who represented a variety of social variables. The interviews addressed the issues of extended familism and gender roles that had been extensively outlined in the literature. However, the subject matter of the interviews also necessitated the theoretical examination of cultural identity in the context of family. The identity of these individuals can be described as "Cultural Blending," a syncratic phenomenon in which elements of Mexican tradition and elements of the Anglo-American present are carefully combined. Another key element of this study that the literature did not address is the way in which these people actually define "family," and other associated concepts such as "mother," "father," and "godparent." While the family does serve specific functional purposes, it must also be considered as an ideological construct. Further research should be carried out to examine the experiences of Mexican-Americans and other ethnic minorities in ethnically isolated regions of the country such as Ohio. Future research should also explore the effects of internal migration and occupational demands on the lives of Mexican- Americans.


Frese, Pamela


Sociology and Anthropology

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis

Available for download on Thursday, January 01, 2150

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© Copyright 1997 Christina M. Getrich