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Among the major cities of the United States, El Paso, Texas is * unique because of its border location and because of the makeup of its population: Mexican Americans or Chicanos2 have constituted the majority of this city's population throughout the twentieth century, and currently this group constitutes approximately 62 percent of El Paso's residents (Table 1). Thus, El Paso affords the student of ethnic relations an excellent setting for analyzing social change in a Chicano urban community. Utilizing quantitative and other materials, this study measures social, economic, and political progress recorded by this group; it also attempts to interpret the degree and rate of change revealed by the data. 3 These interpretations apply only to El Paso, but other communities have undergone similar experiences and hopefully fellow scholars will undertake research elsewhere to provide comparisons with the trends observable here. The overall result of such an effort would be a greater illumination of the dynamics of ethnic interaction in the urban Southwest. This study is divided into four sections: Part I presents background information on the evolution of the Chicano community in El Paso; Part II analyzes statistical data related to group achievement; Part III discusses propositions that help to explain the experience of local Chicanos, and Part IV contains a summary and conclusion of findings.



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Texas Western Press


El Paso


El Paso, Chicanos, Social change, Southwest, Mexican Americans

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The Chicanos of El Paso An Assessment of Progress