UCLA Latino Policy Studies Research Projects 2004-2005

Latino Political Incorporation and Community Advocacy Groups

Principal Investigator: Raymond Rocco, Associate Professor, UCLA Department of Political Science
This project studies community advocacy groups in the Los Angeles area as an alternative mode of Latino political incorporation and representation. Most studies of these issues focus on the extent of Latino participation in the traditional processes and institutions of the electoral system which assume that the vote or franchise is the major form of political access. However, research indicates that for large numbers of Latinos, including immigrant and working class households, the electoral system has not been an effective mechanism for articulating their interests and needs. This project examines the extent to which community advocacy groups serve as institutional forms that give voice to the interests and needs of those sectors of Latino populations that are politically and economically marginalized. The goal is to broaden our conception of Latino politics in a way that is able to incorporate the Latino sectors often not included in more traditional approaches to Latino politics.

The Doctoral Records Project

Principal Investigator: Daniel Solorzano, Professor, UCLA Graduate School of Education, and Director of UC/ACCORD
The Doctoral Records project examines the undergraduate origins of all scholars of color PhDs in the United States. Using data from the National Opinion Research Center's "Survey of Earned Doctorates," the goal of this study is to provide insight into areas of educational policy that may help increase the number of scholars of color PhDs. This research is significant for at least three reasons. It would: (10 Update existing research documenting scholars of color doctoral production to include the decade of the 1990s; (2) Identify and propose policy driven programs that will increase the access, positive experiences, and persistence of students intending to complete a doctorate degree; and (3) Identify those community colleges and four-year colleges/universities that contribute to the production of PhDs.

Socioeconomic Mobility Among the Mexican American People

Principal Investigators: Edward Telles, Professor, UCLA Department of Sociology and Vilma Ortiz, Professor, UCLA Department of Sociology
This is a study of the socio-economic status of second, third and fourth generation Mexican Americans. It focuses on the relationship between education and employment and on the effect of parental status and phenotype on these outcomes. This project is part of a larger study on intra-generational and inter-generational continuity and change in ethnic identity and behavior and socio-economic mobility among Mexican Americans in Los Angeles and San Antonio . The respondents to a 1965-66 survey of Mexican Americans have been re-interviewed, and two of their adult children have been interviewed, thus producing a 30-year longitudinal and inter-generational data set. The 1970 Mexican American People by Leo Grebler was the landmark study based on a large-scale survey of Mexican Americans. The current research is a follow-up survey of the original respondents and their children.


Health Care Access In a Transborder Context

Principal Investigator: Steven Paul Wallace, Professor, UCLA School of Public Health/Community Health Sciences; UCLA Center for Health Policy Research  
Research Assistant: Veronica F. Gutierrez, PhD student, UCLA School of Public Health
Migration and globalization have shaped U.S.-Mexico border relations in profound ways that include establishing political, social and economic ties that impact the health of residents within the transborder context, including the California-Mexico border. In light of the various acute and chronic health problems that Tijuana , Mexico , residents face living in a dynamic "transborder" context, this study examines how transborder social and economic ties shape the access of residents to health care. This study will analyze a new survey of 400 families in Tijuana, a collaborative study between UCLA School of Public Health and researchers from El Colegio de la Frontra Norte.

When Grades Don't Matter: Schooling and Family Experiences of College-Bound and Non-College-Bound Latinas

Principal Investigator: Maria Estela Zarate, PhD candidate, UCLA Graduate School of Education
The primary research question of this project is: How are he school experiences and the way Latina adolescents negotiate family expectations and support different between Latinas that enroll in college and those that do not enroll in college?
This study will identify how Latinas successfully negotiate school agents and school structures and will also point to critical points where some Latinas disconnect from the schooling processes and limit their post-secondary education options. Because Latina students are daughters, in addition to students, it is important to also understand how Latinas negotiate their family's educational and cultural expectations and how families transmit these expectations to their daughters. Preliminary findings contradict the dominant college attainment models that assign a pivotal role to academic achievement and SES in the college destinations of students. It forces questions about what happens at the high school level and at home that socializes some Latinas to enroll in college while others forgo college options, despite having similar academic trajectories. This current study aims to explain why teacher evaluations of the student and parents' assessments of students' interest in high school are better predictors of college enrollment than academic achievement.

"Mi Familia": Family and Gender Attitudes in Mexican American Families

Principal Investigator: Katy Maribel Pinto, PhD candidate, UCLA Department of Sociology
This study is to estimate the effects of generational status, ethnic identity, and language retention on gender attitudes. The project is based on a non-public data set from the Mexican American Study Project (headed by Ortiz and Telles); the MASP data make up a 30-year longitudinal study of Mexican Americans and their children. The original 1965 data were used to create an intragenerational and intergenerational data set. In 2000, 475 original respondents and 768 of their children were re-interviewed. This study will analyze data for respondents with information on gender attitudes and behaviors, specifically the effects of assimilation on gender attitudes. The 2000 questionnaire covers the same broad areas as the 1965 questionnaire, such as demographics, educational attainment, gender attitudes and behaviors, and ethnic identity.

La educacion nace en la cuna: Surviving and Succeeding in the Academy - Latina Experiences and Reflections on Graduate School, Academic Careers, Sexuality, and Family

Principal Investigator: Maria Rebeca Burciaga, PhD candidate, UCLA Graduate School of Education
In 2000, only 5 percent of all doctoral degrees received by women were awarded to Latinas. Although this small percentage tells a story in itself, it does not provide information on the number of Latinas entering the academic profession. It also masks the personal experiences Latina students have faced while in pursuit of their PhD. Without a better understanding of these personal and professional experiences, college and universities across the country lack the ability to increase the representation of and attract Latina professors to their campuses. This research is a qualitative case study that examines how Chicana/Latina graduate students' personal and professional experiences while in doctoral programs impact their aspirations and decisions to continue on to the professoriate. With a focus on the intersections of gender, race, sexuality, and class, the study explores Latina students' experiences as they create and maintain aspirations, maneuver through graduate programs, and begin to make decisions about their future work as well as their personal lives. The research methods include focus groups, individual interviews, and participatory data analysis.