Mexican Americans comprise the largest subgroup of Latina/os, and their path to education can be a difficult one. Yet just as this group is often marginalized, so are their stories, and relatively few studies have chronicled the educational trajectory of Mexican American men and women. In this interdisciplinary collection, editors Zambrana and Hurtado have brought together research studies that reveal new ways to understand how and why members of this subgroup have succeeded and how the facilitators of success in higher education have changed or remained the same. The Magic Key’s four sections explain the context of Mexican American higher education issues, provide conceptual understandings, explore contemporary college experiences, and offer implications for educational policy and future practices. Using historical and contemporary data as well as new conceptual apparatuses, the authors in this collection create a comparative, nuanced approach that brings Mexican Americans’ lived experiences into the dominant discourse of social science and education. This diverse set of studies presents both quantitative and qualitative data by gender to examine trends of generations of Mexican American college students, provides information on perceptions of welcoming university climates, and proffers insights on emergent issues in the field of higher education for this population. Professors and students across disciplines will find this volume indispensable for its insights on the Mexican American educational experience, both past and present.
About the Author: Edited by Ruth Enid Zambrana and Sylvia Hurtado
Dr. Ruth Zambrana is a Professor in the Department of Women’s Studies and Director, Consortium on Race, Gender and Ethnicity at the University of Maryland, College Park with affiliate faculty appointments in Sociology, African American Studies, and Public Health. She is the founding director of U.S. Latina/o Studies at University of Maryland. Her areas of expertise include the intersections of gender, race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status and institutional policies and practices on health and higher education outcomes. Her scholarship has focused on racial/ethnic populations with a focus on women’s health and Latino population health. A second area of focus is the impact of occupational stressors on the health and mental well-being of historically underrepresented minority faculty using an intersectional lens of race/ethnicity, gender and institutional power. Her most recent anthologies include Obesity Interventions in Underserved Communities: Evidence and Directions with Virginia Brennan and Shiriki Kumanyiki (2014), and The Magic Key: The Educational Journey of Mexican Americans from K-12 to College and Beyond (2015), with co-editor Sylvia Hurtado. She has published extensively in her areas of interest and her most recent publications include: Zambrana, R.E., Meghea, C., Talley, C., Hammad, A., & Lockett, M., Williams, K.P. (2015). Association between family communication and health literacy among underserved racial/ethnic women. Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved, 26(2), 391-405 and Zambrana, R.E., Ray, R.J., Espino, M. M., Castro, C., Douthirt-Cohen, B., & Eliason, J. (2015). “Don’t Leave Us Behind”: The Importance of Mentoring for Underrepresented Minority Faculty. American Educational Research Journal, 52(1), 40-72.
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