Theses and Dissertations - UTB/UTPA

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Dr. Marci R. McMahon

Second Advisor

Dr. Jennifer R. Mata

Third Advisor

Emmy Perez


This thesis closely examines Robert Rodriguez’s film El Mariachi and its portrayal of border masculinity - the masculine identity which exists on the physical space between the U.S. and Mexico, but also the masculinity created by the melding of cultures. The film ignores this complexity and instead dichotomizes maleness along the traditionally Western lines of hard versus soft masculinity. Further, the film glorifies violence, the exploitation of female bodies, shows women as only useful agents of man, punishes transgressive women, and depicts men as only possessing or aspiring to possess individualistic, economic, phallocentric, and patriarchal power which reinforces a variation of hegemonic masculinity. This thesis explores the larger implications of these representations in terms of gender, race, sexuality, and border culture.


Copyright 2010 Marlene Galvan. All Rights Reserved.

Granting Institution

University of Texas-Pan American