Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies (MAIS)


Mexican American Studies

First Advisor

Dr. Stephanie Alvarez

Second Advisor

Dr. Maritza De La Trinidad

Third Advisor

Dr. Francisco Guajardo


This thesis describes how food, culture, and class have shaped how I have acculturated, negotiated and blended Mexican and American. It highlights various themes that have shaped my educational process, including, masculinity, family values, food production, service and consumption. The proximity of South Texas to the U.S.-Mexican border plays an important role in the gastronomy of the Rio Grande Valley (RGV). This is a region where people interact across race, ethnicity and culture to create different dishes and customs surrounding food. It also demonstrates how food brings people together. The methodology used in this thesis is from the autoethnographic perspective of testimonio to demonstrate the relevance of how food has played and continues to play a major role in my life and how I define masculinity, education and family through food. Chapter one describes the process of reflection on the work of scholars that reaffirmed experiential knowledge. Chapter two describes my upbringing. Chapter three describes how I view masculinity and the gender roles that I learned at a very young age. Chapter four describes the value of education that was instilled by my parents and their hard work.


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