• Chicana/o Students' Engagement with Arizona's "Anti-Ethnic Studies" Bill 1108: Civic Engagement, Ethnic Identity and Well-being

      O'Leary, Anna Ochoa; Romero, Andrea J.; University of Arizona, Department of Mexican American Studies (University of Arizona, Mexican American Studies and Research Center, 2010)
      As an amendment to a Homeland Security Bill in 2008, Arizona Senate Bill 1108, the “Anti-Ethnic Studies” bill, sought to establish that “a primary purpose of public education is to inculcate values of American citizenship” by proposing to eliminate the state’s ethnic-studies programs and ethnic-based organizations characterized as “un-American.” We investigated undergraduate student responses to the proposed amendment to the SB 1108 bill and associations with civic engagement, stress, ethnic identity, and mental well-being (depressive symptoms and self-esteem). Ninety-nine undergraduate students who self-identified as Mexican, Mexican American, or Chicana/o completed an online survey. Their responses indicated that more stress due to SB 1108 was significantly associated with more discrimination stress, lower self-esteem, and more depressive symptoms. We found that students that were more civically engaged in general were more engaged with SB 1108. Students with less positive or examined ethnic identity were more likely to be disengaged with SB 1108. Moreover, even if students felt high levels of stress from SB 1108, their engaged responses buffered them from the potentially negative effect of this proposed measure on self-esteem. In contrast, those who felt stress but were not engaged had significantly lower self-esteem. These findings have important implications for understanding the effect of nativist policy on Chicana/o youth and validate the benefits of civic engagement for the well-being of ethnic minority students.
    • Mujeres en el Cruce: Mapping Family Separation/Reunification at a Time of Border (In)Security

      O'Leary, Anna Ochoa; University of Arizona, Mexican American Studies and Research Center (University of Arizona, Mexican American Studies and Research Center, 2007)
      In this paper I discuss some of the findings in my study of the encounters between female migrants and immigration enforcement authorities along the U.S.-Mexico border. An objective of the research is to ascertain a more accurate picture of women temporarily suspended in the “intersection” of diametrically opposed processes: immigration enforcement and transnational mobility. Of the many issues that have emerged from this research, family separation is most palpable. This suggests a deeply entrenched relationship between immigration enforcement and the transnationalization of family ties. While this relationship may at first not be obvious, women’s accounts of family separation and family reunification show how, in reconciling these contradictory tendencies, migrant mobility is strengthened, which in turn challenges enforcement measures. In this way, the intersection not only sheds light on how opposing forces (enforcement and mobility) converge but also how each is contingent on the other. This analysis is possible in part through the use of a conceptual intersection of diametrically opposed forces, border enforcement and transnational movement, and thus proves useful in examining the transformative nature of globalized spaces.
    • Of Information Highways and Toxic Byways: Women and Environmental Protest in a Northern Mexican City

      O'Leary, Anna Ochoa; Pima Community College, Department of Social and Cultural Studies (University of Arizona, Mexican American Studies and Research Center, 2002)
      Women’s involvement in collective struggles for environmental quality has surged in recent years, as has research focusing on this phenomenon. Consistent with this research, a feminist lens is useful in revealing a model of community struggle that features women’s activities and strategies to expose environmental insult. I use a case study of community protest in Hermosillo, a city in the Mexican state of Sonora, to feature social networks as a means of politicizing the placement of a toxic waste dump six kilometers outside the city. A feminist perspective reveals these social networks to be more than a way to mobilize resources. It allow us to see the ways in which gender interacts with globalized relations of power, political ecology, and environmental policy, and to validate a creative way in which women can out-maneuver the gendered constraints to political participation. An analysis of how social networks served in this particular struggle suggests that they are an important component in the process through which women gained voice and authored oppositional discourse in contexts where these have been previously denied, and ultimately deconstructed the political authority that sanctioned the dump.
    • Social Exchange Practices among Mexican-Origin Women in Nogales, Arizona: Prospects for Education Acquisition

      O'Leary, Anna Ochoa; University of Arizona, Mexican American Studies and Research Center (University of Arizona, Mexican American Studies and Research Center, 2004)
      This paper summarizes quantitative and qualitative findings from a 1999 study of Mexican-origin households in Nogales, Arizona. An important finding shows that women’s educational progress is facilitated with social support, and more importantly, that a household’s investment in the education of its members is significantly raised with the increase in the education attainment level of the female head of household. These findings form the premise for arguing that by systematically building on existent cultural frameworks for social support that advance women’s educational progress, the chances for educational attainment for all Mexican-origin persons are improved.