Dissertation Title:

El Camino sin Palabras/A Road Without Words


Carol Louise Cruz

Date, Time & Place:

April 1, 2016 at 1:00 pm
Lecture Hall, Lambert Road campus


The purpose of the research was to describe, through the portal of the researcher’s mother’s memoir, a personal voice that is ignored by mainstream society and to give witness to the culture of the researcher’s Latino parents, grandparents, and ancestors. The problem addressed is the repression of the personal voices of women from marginalized ethnic/racial and poverty-level socioeconomic backgrounds, whose voices remain silenced in the field of psychology. A social construct approach was used to enter the sociohistorical context of the memoir. Alchemical hermeneutics led the researcher onto the compelling but uncharted path of the study, while heuristic methodology was utilized to hear and then authentically articulate the voice sought in the research. The findings of the research illuminated implied themes of silence. In the memoir, the writer’s identity was expressed in terms of the family, as “We,” a community, rather than “I.” Shared space was found to be a constant phenomenon of poverty in Mexican American communities of laborers in California in the mid-20th century, and time was translated into the intensity required to endure a task. The memoir’s documentation of unexpected events which had no similar prior life experience was prefaced with “one day.” The memoir revealed the writer’s continual seeking to witness and experience aesthetic beauty while living in poverty. The research findings provide insight into the wealth of culturally relevant material that traditionally silenced personal voices can provide to the field of psychology.



This is due to Pacifica’s conditional use permit, which restricts campus parking. Please call 896-1887 or 896-1888 for a shuttle pickup from the Best Western. A Pacifica shuttle driver will pick you up within 10 minutes or so and take you to the campus.

*Please be considerate of students on campus and note that dining room service is available only to those students*

Thank you for your kind consideration

  • Program/Track/Year: Clinical Psychology, Track A, 2009
  • Chair: Dr. Michael Sipiora
  • Reader: Dr. Joseph Coppin
  • External Reader: Dr. Rebecca Rojas
  • Keywords: Personal Voice, Poverty, Cultural Values, Latinas, Family, Social Class