New PDF release: Mexican American women activists: identity and resistance in

By Mary Pardo

Tells the tales of Mexican American ladies from la neighborhoods and the way they remodeled the typical difficulties they faced into political matters. by means of putting those women's stories on the heart of her dialogue of grassroots political activism, the writer describes gender, race, and sophistication personality of neighborhood networking.

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Additional info for Mexican American women activists: identity and resistance in two Los Angeles communities

Sample text

Each researcher brings a unique voice and a personal biography that shapes her interpretation of the places, events, and people she observes. The perspective I bring to my study has produced particular questions and interpretations of what I observed. As a second-generation woman of Mexican descent, I share the same ethnic origins and a similar immigration history with the women I interviewed. I grew up in a blue-collar family in neighborhoods similar to those in Eastside Los Angeles. I participated in the Chicano student movement of the early 1970s and worked in the Eastside.

According to economists, this reflects a national trend in which rising employment levels are failing to lift the poor out of poverty or boost the middle class. 7 Service jobs now account for 56 percent of the total jobs in the city. Electronic and labor-intensive manufacturing are also growing sectors of the economy, but both are predominantly nonunionized; gone are the relatively highly paid unionized jobs in the auto industry and steel plants. In Los Angeles County the proportion of unionized workers dropped from 25 percent in the 1950s to 15 percent in the 1990s (Acuña 1996, 180).

5 percent of the households. 8 percent of households contain five or more. Page 25 From Delicatessens to Panaderías Boyle Heights was built in the late nineteenth century as a ''streetcar suburb," the first neighborhood outside the center of the city. In the early 1900s, Jewish families began moving into the predominantly upper-class Protestant neighborhood. Cosmetics millionaire Max Factor and gangster Mickey Cohen resided in the once stately neighborhood. By 1938 more than eighteen hundred Jewish households had become established there, and it had become the first large, visibly distinct Jewish community in Los Angeles: "On the main streets of Boyle Heights were stores where Jews bought and sold, Yiddish was freely used, and Saturdays and Jewish holidays were marked by festive appearances and many closed businesses" (Phillips 1986, 12930).

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