Breaking Barriers: Latina Catholic Immigrants




Hillon, Deisy L

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This thesis describes the negotiations of tensions, contradictions and oppositions that exist when considering immigration, religion and gender. For Catholic Latinas in the U.S, immigrating creates not only new barriers but can, at times, augment their relationship with the church. Yet, Latinas are not the stereotypical traditional religious believers; they break those barriers and negotiate the differences between traditional and nontraditional beliefs. They negotiate these tensions through immediate experiences, such as their relationships with their daughters, but also through other means. Among them, the church, as the source of community and empowerment, becomes a place of negotiation. What goes on in the church itself allows for breaks that can lead to differences, to reconciling oppositions. This research is a first step in understanding how women reconcile the differences that come with being immigrants, Catholic and Latinas. Finally, what this also underscores is the fact that, through breaking barriers of tradition, Latinas are evidence of change.



Latinas, Catholicism, Immigration