An Update On My Ethnographic Research

Academic Personal

Hey y’all! I hope you’re all ready to tackle this upcoming week with lots of energy and the intention to grow. This past week I finally finished the abstract for my ethnographic research! If you’ve been keeping up I started my research back in March and conducted interviews during July; it’s been a super long process and my progress has been slow, but seeing my finished abstract is reassuring as I finally have something concrete. While my independent research was for fun (meaning it’s not a thesis) I’m currently looking at outlets to get published, which is a whole separate process. In the meantime I’ve applied to the NYU Undergraduate Research Fund and hopefully I get to share my findings about Our Lady of Guadalupe’s influence in Mexico! So that’s a short update on the project, now…

Lo and behold, the final abstract:

 

Mariology in Mexico: Popular Perceptions of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Monterrey

Victoria Aylin Rodriguez, Mathematics, Economics

Sponsor: Assistant Professor Zeb Tortorici, Spanish and Portuguese

 

Marian devotion— commonly attributed to Catholicism and other branches of Christianity throughout the world— is the pious worship of the Virgin Mary that stems from her unique role as the mother of Jesus Christ and from her embodiment of a more humanized and accessible figure of devotion than God Himself. While Marian piety has gained extensive localized followings worldwide, her presence in Mexican culture is all-encompassing in both the private and public spheres. Referred to as La Virgen de Guadalupe— Our Lady of Guadalupe— it is virtually impossible to study any community in Mexico and not encounter her in one way or another. Since her apparition more than four centuries ago in 1531 she has established a culture rooted in Catholicism and has served as an unconditional source of love and support for the Mexican people (Villalpando, 2004).

The purpose of this research is to analyze how women and female-identifying individuals in the northern Mexican city of Monterrey perceive Our Lady of Guadalupe and how much influence this figure has on their daily lives and relationships. Through informal interviews on the lives and beliefs of 13 different women, all representing different age groups, socioeconomic statuses, and familial structures, we begin to dissect how their personal experiences of womanhood, motherhood, and race are associated with their exposure to and participation in Marian devotion. What we uncover is a genuine love and admiration for Our Lady who is seen as not just an intercessor, but a reference for strength, acceptance, and compassion.

 

Reference: Villalpando, José Manuel. La Virgen de Guadalupe: una biografía. Mexico: Planeta Publishing, 2004.

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