Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Committee Member

Jessica Teague

Second Committee Member

Megan Becker-Leckrone

Third Committee Member

Vincent Pérez

Fourth Committee Member

María Casas

Number of Pages



The goal of this thesis is to investigate the role Mexican mothers play in raising their children and how the border affects their abilities as mothers, looking specifically into the Mother-Daughter relationship, broken down even further into the Mexican mother versus the Mexican-American daughter. To explore this concept, I examine Sandra Cisneros, Caramelo, looking at all the mothers, but specifically into the Reyes matriarchs, and Aaron Bobrow-Strain, The Life and Death of Aida Hernandez, to show how the border has influenced Mexican mothering styles, along with juxtaposing how Mexican immigrants were treated in the 20th century to how politicization of the border has led increased policing into the 21st century. Under this timeline, I examine how the border contributes to intergenerational trauma, looking into the effects mixed-status (undocumented vs. documented) families have on children who identify as American but cannot share in this identity with their undocumented mother. This thesis explores how gender roles, tradition, and religion impact the way Mexican woman mother and examine how the border has busted through, leading to pain in both the mother and daughter. This thesis is broken up into three chapters, with chapter one examining how both Mexican mothers and Mexican-American daughters can benefit from Healing Justice and explore how Caramelo and Aida Hernandez hint to those movements of healing, followed with chapter two analyzing the mother figures during the 20th century in Cisneros Caramelo and chapter three exploring how the border disrupts mothering in the 21st century in Bobrow-Strain’s The Life and Death of Aida Hernandez.


Border Narrative; Chicano/a; immigrant; immigration; Mexico; United States


English Language and Literature | Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies | Gender and Sexuality | History

File Format


File Size

713 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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