Title page for ETD etd-03172006-171620

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Uribe Leon, Marcela
URN etd-03172006-171620
Title La Vida en el Norte [Life in the North], Three Mexican Women in the Roanoke Valley
Degree Master of Arts
Department History
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Tilley-Lubbs, Gresilda A. Committee Chair
Bixler, Jacqueline E. Committee Member
Milly, Deborah J. Committee Member
  • domestic violence
  • interviews
  • women
  • mexican immigrants
  • identity
  • Southwest Virginia.
Date of Defense 2005-12-12
Availability restricted
The purpose of this work was to investigate how identity is transformed by the experience of immigration. Two research questions were conceptualized in order to address the essence of the inquiry. How do Mexican immigrant women living in the Roanoke Valley describe their lives back in Mexico? How do Mexican immigrant women living in the Roanoke Valley describe their lives in the United States?

Interviews with three first-generation Mexican female immigrants currently living in Southwest Virginia formed the basis of the qualitative study presented in this work. The study was designed to understand Mexican women immigrants through their personal experiences and stories.

The two main findings about their perceptions of life back in Mexico were related to lack of economic resources and the limited opportunities they had. Also, their memories of Mexico were paired with nostalgia of their loss in terms of family relations and cultural understanding. In general, the participants perceived themselves to be in a better economic position that encourages them to stay in the United States. An unexpected finding was that in all three cases domestic violence was a constant in the women’s lives. However, despite the gender construction of Mexican women as passive females, the commonality in the three cases was that they looked for alternatives on how to resist violence by seeking support and resources to escape from it on either side of the border.

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