First Advisor

José A. Padín

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.) in Sociology






Mexican American women -- United States -- Social conditions, Women immigrants -- United States -- Social conditions, Patriarchy



Physical Description

1 online resource, (172 p.)


Are experiences with migration affecting culturally specific gendered practices, roles, attitudes, and ideologies of Mexican women and men? Which experiences reinforce patriarchy? Which experiences transform patriarchy? This thesis proposes that Mexican immigrant women will subscribe to and enact different gendered behaviors depending upon their perception of gendered gains. Various factors, such as time of arrival, previous experiences with negative machismos, and workforce participation affect how they construct gendered identities. The context where bargaining occurs-whether itwas the home, the community, or the workplace - inform women of what strategies they need implement in order to negotiate with patriarchy. This study employs two models, Deniz Kandiyoti's concept of the patriarchal bargain and Sylvya Walby' s theoretical position of patriarchy fomenting unique gender inequalities within different contexts, to process the different ways Mexican immigrant women perceive and perform gender.

The author analyzed data collected from participant observation activities, focus groups, and interviews with women of Mexican descent living in new immigrant destinations. Mexican immigrant women's narratives of negotiations and transformations with male partners indicated equal adherence of traditional and nontraditional gendered behaviors in order to build satisfactory patriarchal bargains. In addition, data suggested that identity formation was the outcome of migratory influences; it also indicated that progressive ideas about gender were salient before migrating to the U.S .. Findings also suggested that reassured masculine identities, due to the stable work options open to Mexican immigrant males in this area, became a factor in the emergence and adherence of distinct gendered attitudes, beliefs, and perceptions by women in this study.


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