Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Sarah Sarzynski

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This paper will show how Los Angeles became a divisive place for Mexicans and Mexican Americans to live in the early 20th century, as individuals, communities, and governmental entities sought to subjugate them. In part it will demonstrate how owners and customers at El Cholo used the veil of authenticity to create a space free from the strife that existed in the locale for their persecuted Mexican and Mexican-American constituents. In the same image, El Cholo and Guelaguetza (a Los Angeles restaurant dedicated to Oaxacan cuisine) have contemporarily used their understanding of their own culture, and others expectations of it to elevate themselves in a time the national government actively persecutes people of Mexican descent. This conflates the predominating thought that discourse on authenticity is an encoded tool used by people from one culture to describe and ultimately degrade another.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.