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Mexican American Studies/Chicana/o Studies

This description of Mexican American studies/Chicano studies, as an academic discipline, begins by making three claims about the field. First, Mexican American studies/Chicano studies was born out of a need for social change. Its early roots were directed at addressing discourses, ideologies, policies, and practices oppressing the Mexican American/Chicano population (specifically) while simultaneously critiquing Western epistemologies (generally). Second, Mexican American/Chicano studies is a dynamic academic discipline sensitive to the needs of the Mexican American/Chicano community. It has changed as the needs, sentiments, and cultural repertoires of practice of the Mexican American/Chicano community have changed. Finally, questions relating to identities—cultural, ethnic, and national—are central to the field of Mexican American/Chicano studies. This entry first discusses issues related to various forms of identity and then reviews the ...

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