Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




The Southwest is the location of an ongoing culture clash between proponents of a unified "American" culture and Mexican-American culture. The significance of the debate is not just about Mexican-American studies; it reflects a broader debate about individual and collective identity in the United States. The two cultures have historically had a contentious relationship that is further intensified by their geographical proximity to one another. Some of the tensions have culminated in a conflict within the school system between supporters and opponents of Mexican-American studies. One side of the debate sees the program as a means to help students succeed by learning about events and people through a particular cultural lens. Individuals on the other side of the debate disagree with the program because they feel that it unjustly gives Mexican-American students particular privileges and encourages students to disassociate from a collective "American" identity. An analysis of what justice demands for teaching heterogeneous groups of students is necessary to determine what is just. Philosophers such as Iris Marion Young, Nancy Fraser, and Danielle Allen have developed particular frameworks to address what justice demands in a variety of situations.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.