UCLA Latino Policy Studies Research Projects 2003-2004

Oral Histories with Chicana FeminIsts

Principal Investigator: Maylei Blackwell, Assistant Professor, UCLA Cesar E. Chavez Center for Chicana and Chicano Studies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               For the costs of transcribing oral histories with Anna Nieto Gomez, the remaining members of the Hijas de Cuauhtémoc, and several key actors who help tell the story of the emergence of feminism within the Chicano Student Movement. This research will lead to a book and the archiving of the oral histories at the CSRC as part of a collection on Chicanas in Movement.

Strategies for Political Empowerment

Principal Investigator: Joaquin Avila, Visiting Professor, UCLA School of Law
Latino political empowerment has often been measured in terms of the increasing number of Latino elected officials, or the elimination of discriminatory election structures. Another gauge of Latino political empowerment merits a renewed focus: the issue of noncitizens and voting. In California, over 4.6 million noncitizen adults or nearly 19% of the adult population?contribute to the state economy and government revenues but lack political representation. Latino noncitizens account for 3 million of this noncitizen population and constitute 28% of Latinos in California. This project questions how the state will respond to these demographic changes, and how policy decisions will shape the future viability of the state. The research project has resulted in a CSRC Latino Policy & Issues Brief, No. 9, December 2003, Political Apartheid in California: Consequences of Excluding a Growing Noncitizen Population.

Metropolitan Origin Migration and Inter-Metropolitan Circuits Between Mexico and US

Principal Investigator: Rubén Hernández-León, Assistant Professor, UCLA Department of Sociology
The vast sociological literature on Mexico-U.S. migration has traditionally focused on small human settlements-hamlets and villages-as sources of this international flow. In contrast, little research has been conducted on large cities and metropolitan areas in Mexico as sending areas of migration to the United States. A series of economic crises and structural transformation of the Mexican economy over the past twenty years have turned urban areas into an increasingly important source of U.S. bound migrants. By looking at four interconnected case studies conducted in Monterrey-Mexico's third largest city-this research seeks to answer several questions: What are the patterns and strategies of international migration undertaken by Mexican urbanites? What are the theoretical explanations that best account for the growing U.S.-bound migration of city origin Mexicans (i.e. neoclassical economics, new economics of migration, social capital theory)? What is the social organization of migration in metropolitan contexts?
For this project, Hernández-León will analyze a survey and interviews conducted in the late 1990s in Monterrey and Houston-the main destination of this flow-with migrant and non-migrant individuals and households. The specific tasks include: descriptive analysis of labor market, domestic and international migration trajectories; the mapping of such trajectories in the urban and bi-national Texas-Northeast Mexico geographies; analysis of kin and non-kin based networks; coding of answers to open-ended questions about motivations of migration, networks and social capital; entering these codes and expanding an existing (partial) data set of the above mentioned survey; theme coding of individual and focus-group interviews; and researching macro-economic level variables to incorporate them into the data set. Most of the funding requested will be used to support a research assistant in charge of data entry, coding and a fraction of the funds will be used to support additional field research in the two cities and to purchase research materials.

Race and the City: Los Angeles and the Geography of White Racial Formation

Principal Investigator: Eric Avila, Assistant Professor, UCLA Cesar E. Chavez Center for Chicana and Chicano Studies and Department of History
This project explores the enduring significance of race to the history of Los Angeles. In the brief 150 years of its existence as an American city, Los Angeles has encompassed a series of racial projects that nurtured the regional formation of a 'white' identity and assigned a set of racial meanings to Southern California's evolving class structure. The next steps in this project involve procuring and photocopying primary and secondary source materials from regional archives, including UCLA's Special Collections Library, the Southern California Library for Social Studies and Research, the Huntington Library, and USC's Regional History Center. This project involves identifying and analyzing census data, and compiling other relevant materials from campus libraries. Funding covers one research assistant.

Violence Prevention Curriculum for Middle School Students

Principal Investigator: Diane De Anda, Professor Emerita, UCLA School of Social Welfare
The objective of this study is to determine the effectiveness of a violence prevention curriculum created by Professor De Anda with a cross-cultural group of middle school students. The analysis of the data set for 2000 seventh graders in the Glendale Unified School district will provide student sense of safety in the school environment, anger management, attitudes towards violence and alternative non-violent means of handling confrontations with peers, and knowledge of specific violence prevention skills. This project has already received funding for the data collection phase. The small LRP grant allows for the completion of this important project.

Parent Involvement in an Urban Los Angeles Elementary School

Principal Investigator: Kris D. Gutierrez, Professor, UCLA Graduate School of Education
This Los Angeles study focuses on the nature of parent - teacher collaboration when the parents are Latino and Indigenous immigrants and low-income. Given the benefits of parent involvement, it is important to study the factors that lead to limited communication and conflicting expectations between parents and teachers. A "disconnect" between schools and the communities they serve may exist, particularly in large urban districts with large numbers of ethnically and racially diverse families.

Ethnic Identity and HIV Prevention Among Young Latino Parents

Principal Investigator: Deborah Koniak-Griffin and Evelyn Gonzalez-Figueroa, professors, UCLA School of Nursing
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              The purpose of this study is to explore the area of ethnic identity and how it relates to HIV/AIDS risk and safer behaviors among adolescent Latino parents living in Los Angeles. The exploration of ethnic identity expands the scope of work of ongoing research by Koniak-Griffin on preventing HIV/AIDS in teen mothers and their partners.

Health Related Behaviors of Latino Adolescents

Principal Investigator: Donald E. Morisky, Professor and Vice Chair, UCLA School of Public Health
This research proposes to identify the health status and health-related behaviors of Latino adolescents in Los Angeles. The project will identify major health and behavioral differences between US-born and foreign-born Latinos. The study will also examine the social and behavioral determinants of health care seeking behavior for diagnosis and treatment of latent tuberculosis infection, and the likelihood that adolescents will complete the recommended treatment.