Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
Thursday, May 23, 2024
The Observer

Saint Mary’s senior presents on immigration

Along with other students and faculty, senior Dixie Lucas presented at Saint’s research symposium. Her research presentation was titled “Immigration and Its Effects On Family Structures.”

“I decided to write about immigration and [the] effects it has on the children of first-generation immigrants,” Lucas said. “How ideology and who you are as a person sets you against your parents if you’re raised in a culture that is very distinct from them and in their struggle of having to move to a new country while also struggling with not being familiar with someone who’s family, their own child.”

During her reading for this research, Lucas related her own experiences to what she was reading. She wanted to give others the same feeling.

“When it finally came down to write this, I decided I wanted to add that there’s so many perspectives, and I wanted to be able to elevate my own voice and elevate my own life story because maybe someone might read my paper and be like ‘yeah, I can see what she’s talking about,’” she said.

Lucas sought to portray her idea of parents and children raised in different cultures feeling like opposites, using a song.

“I used a song by Los Tigres del Norte called ‘Jaula de Oro.’ It’s about this father who is signing about his struggles to adapt to the U.S. and how his family does,” she said. “Even though in the United States he has prosperity and money, he feels like he’s still trapped. And when he’s at home, he doesn’t feel at home because his children don’t act like him. They act in such as American way.”

Lucas also used the book “Global Divas: Filipino Gay Men in the Diaspora” to discuss other aspects of immigration and diaspora.

“That book is about gay men in New York City in the 90s trying to adapt, and they’re from the Philippines. It’s a number of interviews that the author has collected of different men and how they try to find a home in New York,” she said. “A lot of them speak about how they keep religious components of the Philippines in their apartment even though that’s one of the main reasons that they ran from the Philippines — because of the judgment and shame that their family brings with their religion. Basically, they miss who they once were but have to be different.”

Lucas said she hopes her research has brought more light to the situation as someone who has lived the experiences she talks about.

“I just want to be able to be in a position in higher education and [be] able to bring a perspective that’s not a third party. Because there’s one thing for someone who hasn’t lived or experienced the life of being in that situation compared to that of a person who has,” she said.

Lucas plans to use her research and her degree in psychology as she continues after graduating from Saint Mary’s. She will be going to Seattle University to get a master’s degree in school counseling.

“I really want to work in under-resourced schools,” she said. “I’ve gone to under-resourced school, and there’s a lot lacking in mental health resources for kids who desperately need it, and I want to be able to help my community back.”