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American Quarterly 53.4 (2001) 744-778

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Dissertation Abstracts 2000-2001

Mary Alcocer-Berriozabal. "The Structure and Development of the American Expatriate Community in Mexico City Since World War II." American Studies, University of Kansas, July 2000.

This dissertation deals with a series of questions about the American community abroad. One objective of this study is to analyze both the general context of American migration within the scope of world-wide emigration and the particularities of the American emigration to Mexico City in the post-World War II period. Today, Mexico represents the country as the single largest group American expatriates choose to reside. Besides the obvious geographic/physical proximity of the two countries and the attractive climatological aspects, there are also cultural, economic and social contextual reasons that have existed in the United States--and in Mexico--during the decades following World War II. These reasons are discussed in the present work. The research is based on an interdisciplinary analysis, which addresses simultaneously the extensive issue of Americans abroad and focuses on Americans living in Mexico City. It addresses issues in diverse fields mainly, American social history, American foreign relations, organizational business history, history of Mexico, Mexican foreign relations, sociological theories on migration, assimilation, and adaptation, as well as ethnographical research methods--that have played a relevant role into the construction of the study of Americans abroad throughout the last fifty years. Special interest is given to an interdisciplinary ethnographic study. The results of the research reflect that Americans go to Mexico based on two assumptions: financial benefits and the fulfillment of an adventurous experience. In general, those that stay longer than two years obtain a degree of assimilation into the Mexican culture and take a high degree of pride in what the American community has achieved in Mexico City. Americans abroad never truly cut their ties with their homeland.

Crystal S. Anderson. "'Far From Everybody's Everything': Literary Tricksters in African American and Chinese American Novels." American Studies, College of William and Mary, November 2000. [End Page 744]

My dissertation examines trickster sensibilities and behavior as models for racial strategies in contemporary novels by John Edgar Wideman and Gloria Naylor, two African American writers, and Frank Chin and Maxine Hong Kingston, two Chinese American authors. These authors use the trickster in their novels to articulate diverse racial strategies for people of color who must negotiate among a variety of cultural influences. My critical trickster paradigm investigates the motives and meanings behind the behavior of tricksters. Utilizing close literary readings contextualized by psychological models of identity and acculturation as well as the history of African Americans and Chinese Americans, this project reveals a variety of trickster behavior and sensibilities. Both African American and Chinese American authors use the trickster behavior and sensibilities. Both African American and Chinese American authors use the trickster to critique and revise images of people of color in the popular imagination. Yet, the authors also demonstrated differing priorities based on historical, cultural and gendered experiences. This project reflects an interdisciplinary exploration of racial strategies of African Americans and Chinese Americans and goes beyond the black/white racial paradigm to explore the cultural dialogue between African and Chinese American writers.

Robert L. Anderson. "Voices of Steel: New Left and Worker Resistance to Steel Industry Restructuring, Western Pennsylvania, 1979-1986." American Studies, University of New Mexico, December 2000.

This dissertation is an interdisciplinary analysis of the resistance strategies developed by the steelworkers of western Pennsylvania and new left activist in response to an economic restructuring of the American steel industry. The study examines two main areas: how workers viewed themselves and their relations to changing economic conditions, their historical consciousness; and problems they encountered employing the classical proletarian model of social change introduced by new left activist in what was essence a post-industrial America. The scholarship draws on economics, political science, sociology, anthropology, history, cultural studies, critical theory and business management methods. Ethnographic research and oral history methodologies are used to document the experiences of fifty key participants. The participant observer methodology provides an extremely rich "insider's" view of the consciousness at this...


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