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The KUT Longhorn Radio Network Presents: Mexican American Experience Collection

Audio recordings including interviews, music, and informational programs related to the Mexican American community and their concerns in the series "The Mexican American Experience" and "A esta hora conversamos" from the Longhorn Radio Network, 1976-1982.

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The Disappearance Of Authentic Chicano Culture
Program #

Richard Goodman
Richard Goodman
Sep 8, 1976

The disappearance of authentic Chicano culture

In this talk, host Richard Goodman first explores the history and recent transformations of Mexican American families. He discusses some of the popular conceptions of Mexican families and argues that most are far from the truth. In the past, Mexican families were strongly patriarchal, yet in practice women usually ran the households. In the present generation, Goodman says the sexual division of labor continues as daughters are taught to do housework and expected to have children. However, these expectations are slowly losing acceptance. Goodman also discusses the declining birthrate among Mexican-American families and the gradual acceptance of birth control to limit family size. He then explores the role of extended families in Mexican American culture and how it has changed over time. Goodman says that the current decline in family communism is associated with economic progress, social mobility and acculturation among the present generation. Goodman also examines the practice of Compadrazgo, or god parenting and its present decline.

Goodman then discusses some of the customs and traditions of Chicanos. He looks at the celebrations that initially occurred after periods of intense communal labor, such as harvest time. After such labor-intensive jobs, communities would organize a celebration, usually marked by a feast or competitive games. While the men slaughtered the pig or competed against each other, the women would prepare food. As Chicanos became increasingly urbanized, the celebrations became less associated with communal labor. Goodman also describes some of the ways Mexican Americans celebrate weddings and quinceñeras. He then touches on several religious customs, including the Days of the Dead and Saints’ Days.


Center for Mexican American Studies | Department of History | The Benson Latin American Collection

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