Student Scholar Symposium Abstracts and Posters

Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 11-30-2022

Faculty Advisor(s)

Dr. Laura Loustau


The population of people who identify as Mexican American has steadily grown parallel to the increase of Mexican immigration to the United States. Ever since the creation of the racial-social group known as Mexican Americans and their subsequent growth, a vast amount and variety of scholarship has been written on what it means to identify as Mexican American. This essay aims to focus on how childhood experiences and development directly impact one's subjective view of Mexican American identity. Understanding Mexican American identity as a clash of two different cultures, Mexican culture and conventional American culture, this essay will perform an analysis and comparison between the autobiographical works of two Mexican American authors, Richard Rodriguez’s Hunger of Memory (1982) and Reyna Grande’s The Distance Between Us (2012), using a specified array of theories that help define the blending of two different cultures, such as acculturation and transculturation. There will be a specified focus on two aspects of childhood development, education and personal family experiences. The objective of this essay is to demonstrate that Mexican American identity should not be viewed as a singular phenomenon or a type of “common struggle”, but as a subjective personal belief that creates unique points of view of what it means to be Mexican American. One example of this phenomenon that this essay will cover is the differences in political and social opinions among the Mexican American community. A comparison of these two authors will demonstrate how their personal views of Mexican American identity caused them to develop contrasting political and social opinions.


Presented at the Fall 2022 Student Scholar Symposium at Chapman University.