“Who has a greater job than a mother?”

Monica Perales

in On the Borders of Love and Power

Published by University of California Press

Published in print July 2012 | ISBN: 9780520272385
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780520951341 | DOI:
“Who has a greater job than a mother?”

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This chapter examines the multivoiced discourse on Mexican motherhood in the border city of El Paso, Texas, during the early twentieth century. The author analyzes writings by Anglo and ethnic Mexican reformers, medical experts, and columnists. She argues that these writers' efforts to encourage ethnic Mexican women to adopt standards of scientific motherhood were influenced by parallel national projects that placed women and mothers at the center of debates defining citizenship in both the United States and Mexico. For Anglo instructors, improving the Mexican home reinforced the image of the Mexican woman as a domestic laborer. At the same time, ethnic Mexican writers promised to elevate the image of Mexican families in the face of racial discrimination in US cities.

Keywords: motherhood; Mexican; women; citizenship; racial discrimination; El Paso

Chapter.  10730 words. 

Subjects: Local and Family History

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