Author

Zooey Salazar

Date of Award

2012

First Advisor

Milo Alvarez

Second Advisor

Nancy Bonvillain

Third Advisor

Francisca Oyogoa

Abstract

This thesis constructs a cognitive mapping of a third generation Mexican American consciousness through testimonies that do not rely upon history as a monolithic truth, but rather as malleable, permeable, a plural of truths which are dependent upon both individual and collective witness and documentation. The third generation consciousness reveals histories which have been oppressed and have oppressed, an ancestry of settler and settled. The thirdgeneration has been born on the border. The body which contains, and is, this consciousness renders the possibility of seamless assimilation, or in contrast imminent alienation, a decision dependent upon factors of racial, cultural, geographic, economic, and political proximity. The vulnerability of the third-generation consciousness is not only within a present context, with emphasis upon the individual, but is also contained within the very creation of such a being with complexities reaching both forward and backward in time and tradition. In utilizing the thirdgeneration consciousness as a methodology, there must also be an understanding to the proximity between a sense of individual intimacy and theoretical objectivity, as the two spaces bleed into and onto one another constantly, and so should be considered interactively. The thirdgeneration consciousness so becomes a borderland not only of ancestry and history, but also of methodologies.

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