MEXICAN AMERICANS: COMMUNITY, CLASS, AND CULTURE
Dr. Raquel Marquez Office Hours: Tues. 1-2 p.m. or,
firstname.lastname@example.org By appointment
Spring 2009; SOC 5223 Office: MS 4.02.68
Tues 2-4:45p.m.; MS 4.02.64 Office Phone: 458-5606
I. Course Description
This course addresses the role that Mexican Americans have played and continue to play within American
society. Historical context, cultural contributions, identity formation, community formation and the
educational experience are key issues explored.
II. Course Objectives
1. Knowledge on the Intersection of Latino community formation with Class and Culture
2. Knowledge of the Impact of this process on the individual
3. Knowledge on the Relationship of Latino Communities to broader US Society
III. Required Texts (available at the University Bookstore)
1. Batos, Bolillos, Pochos, and Pelados
By Chad Richardson
2. Becoming Neighbors in a Mexican American Community
By Gilda Ochoa
3. Walls and Mirrors
By David G. Gutierrez
4. Generations of Exclusion: Mexican Americans, Assimilation and Race
By Edward Tellas
4. Latina Girls
By Jill Denner
6. Chicanas and Chicanos in School: Racial Profiling, Identity Battles, and Empowerment
By Marcos Pizarro
7. Not working: Latina Immigrants, Low-Wage Jobs and the Failure of Welfare Reform
By Alejandra Marchevsky & Jeanne Theoharis
IV. Course requirements
Participation/collaborations: Class discussions: Your participation in class discussions is an important part of the
class. In order to participate, you will need to keep up on the readings, attend class, and be ready for discussions:
a. You will be assigned readings from which to lead a class discussion.
b. You are required to email 1 – 2 question/s for each reading assignment to the person leading the
discussion on that article. Do not ask the obvious. Questions should be insightful and thought
provoking. When possible, tie your questions to your own research interests.
c. Your question/s must be emailed to the person presenting on that article no later than Monday (12
noon) before that Tuesday’s class.
d. The person leading the discussion will compile all questions received, will email me the compiled list
(including the person’s name next to the question/s they submitted) and I will distribute the list of
questions for that day’s discussion. Late questions will not be accepted. Question submissions are
worth 10 points per week.
Essays (4): a minimum of 5 pages typed, double-spaced. Essay topics are designed for you to apply sociological
concepts to issues impacting Mexican Americans. 3 papers on the following topics plus 1 open topic paper for a
total of four, 5 page papers. Well written papers should include: analysis of the information, a theoretical
explanation, the use of data from other class readings, must include citations throughout the paper, and a reference
page. There are no specific deadlines for each paper, but all 4 papers must be turned in no later April 16. The
1) What is an American?
a. Present different perspectives on this question.
b. How do immigrants become Americans?
c. How does race and ethnicity factor in to “Americanness”?
d. The proximity to the Border provides different challenges/experiences for Texas Mexican Americans.
2) Identity formation
a. Discuss the issue at hand in relation to Latino youth, immigrants and communities, both Mexican
American and non-Mexican American?
b. Why is it important to understand how this impacts Latino youth, immigrants and communities, both
Mexican American and non-Mexican American?
3) Mexican Americans and Education
a. Discuss one major issue facing Latino children and families in schools today.
b. Expand the discussion by addressing sociological issues that arise within the framework of this major
issues such as race, class, gender, media, language, religion
4) Open topic paper.
Final Research Paper: Submit your research question/s and abstract no later than February 7
V. Class Attendance
As a graduate student, class attendance is mandatory, and no absences are expected. In the event that you
must miss class, prior notification with a substantive reason is necessary. Any absence excused or not results
in the loss of 20 points off your total points.
VI. Evaluation of Student Performance (545 total points)
75 points 1 Film Critique, no less than 4 pages.
75 points (300 pts.) 4 Short Papers are worth 75 points each, no less than 5 pages.
70 points 7 Weekly Question/s worth 10 points each
100 points Research paper, no less than 20 pages.
VII. Course Requirements and Grading
Final Grades: Final grades will be based on a scale of 550 points:
A = 545-491
B = 490-436
C = 435-381
VIII. Course Outline and Topics
Week 1 Jan 12 Film/Documentary
Week 2 Jan 19 Walls and Mirrors
Week 3 Jan 26 Walls and Mirrors continued
Week 4 Feb 2 Generations of Exclusion: Mexican Americans, Assimilation and Race
Week 5 Feb 9 Generations of Exclusion continued
Week 6 Feb 16 Community Event: Edward Telles presentation on Thursday, February 25; Southwest
Room, Durango Building; time TBD
Week 7 Feb 23 Batos, Bolillos, Pochos, and Pelados
Week 8 March 2 Becoming Neighbors in a Mexican American Community
Week 9 March 9 Chicanas and Chicanos in School: Racial Profiling, Identity Battles, and
Week 10 March 16 SPRING BREAK, March 15-20
Week 11 March 23 Latina Girls/Narratives of Mexican American Women
Week 12 March 30 Latina Girls continued
Week 13 April 6 Not working: Latina Immigrants, Low-Wage Jobs and the Failure of Welfare Reform
Week 14 April 13 Not working, continued
Week 15 April 20 Film/Documentary/Community Event
Week 16 April 27 (last day of class) Research paper presentations
Final Exam, Thurs. May 6, 10:30-1pm – final research paper due
What is QEP?
UTSA’s QEP is an essential part of our re-accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
(SACS). Our re-accreditation is an important element in the quality and prestige of your college degree.
QEP stands for Quality Enhancement Plan
What is UTSA’s QEP? Modules will be built into existing core curriculum and major courses to help
Enhance Quantitative Literacy
Understand the role of numbers in professional and personal lives
Know how to reason and think using numbers
Use data to make better decisions
During March 23-25, 2010 SACS officials will be on campus asking students, faculty and staff about QEP.
We are all expected to know what QEP stands for and what UTSA’s QEP is about. Watch for opportunities
around campus this spring to learn more about QEP and win free prizes!