Rise of the Mexican American Middle Class

Rise of the Mexican American Middle Class : San Antonio, 1929-1941

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Description

San Antonio, Texas, lies geographically and culturally at the crossroads of Mexico, Texas, and the larger United States. During the Great Depression it lay also at the crossroads of these cultures' myths, memories, and identities. Between 1929 and 1941, in this city's West Side barrio, a generation of Mexican immigrants developed into a new middle class and forged an identity that has shaped Southwestern experience since then: the identity of the Mexican American. Richard Garcia presents an innovative study of the tension between change and continuity in thought, culture, and community that characterized this transformation. His analysis focuses on both the conservative Mexican-exile ricos, who promoted a perspective of "Lo Mexicano" and a return to la patria, and the rising Mexican American middle class, who sought a life of Americanism that stressed social integration, education, political rights and power, and economic betterment for both individuals and the ethnic community. Members of this middle class wanted to be Americans politically while remaining Mexicans culturally. Garcia's argument is the first to link the ethnic identity of the Mexican American generation to the rise of the middle class within the immigrant community. He also takes into account the Mexican community's structural relationship to the city, the process of class differentiation within the barrio, and the role of family, church, education, and politics. Through the microcosm of San Antonio, this pioneering study explores the process of changing consciousness that was occurring throughout the United States during this important period.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 416 pages
  • 151.9 x 229.9 x 25.7mm | 653.18g
  • Texas A & M University Press
  • College Station, United States
  • English
  • Illustrations, black and white
  • 1585440523
  • 9781585440528

Review quote

" . . . a scholarly book with a magnificent bibliography, an absolute treasure trove of historical references no serious student of San Antonio history should be without."--Maury Maverick, Jr.show more

About Richard A Garcia

Richard A. Garcia is professor of history at Santa Monica College. He is the author of numerous articles on Chicano intellectual history and historiography.show more

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