Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Criminal Justice

First Advisor

Dr. Lucas Espinoza

Second Advisor

Dr. Rosalva Resendiz

Third Advisor

Dr. Cynthia Jones


Mexican American Criminal Justice students (MACJS) sometimes select a career in Department of Homeland Security, which has a history of systemic racism and oppression. The purpose of this thesis is to examine MACJS conformity to U.S. ideological hegemony and examine the differences in their understanding of human rights/ethics. A questionnaire was administered to MACJS (n = 156) wishing to pursue a career in DHS. The survey instrument used is based on the concepts of Social Identification: Mexican versus U.S. American; Support for Nationalist Racist Policies, Internal Colonialism, Followership by engaging in policies/orders by the government; and Human Rights: Knowledge of Human Rights and Policies. The independent variable is the respondent’s career choice in DHS. The first dependent variable is their response to answering orders without question and the second dependent variable is the curriculum of the Criminal Justice program. Internal colonialization variables are grouped as the following: Following Racist Policies, Being Unethical, Adhere to National Security, and the Knowledge of Human Rights.

The primary hypothesis (H1): MACJS that select a career in DHS will conform to the U.S. ideological hegemony. The secondary hypothesis (H2): MACJS that select a career in DHS will have a different understanding of rights/ethics with other MACJS that did not select a career in DHS. In order to test the hypotheses, ordinal regression was used as the primary data analysis. Results partially support both research hypotheses. The study found a significant difference in conforming to the ideological hegemony and a difference between understanding human rights/ethics among criminal justice students.


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