Chicana/o Studies was created in the cauldron of the social activism of the 1960's and 1970's-the Chicano Movement, the farm workers' unionizing Causa, the civil rights movement, anti-war sentiment and counter-cultural challenges-a new area of studies was created and developed to right the intellectual and scholarly absences and errors of bias Social Science research of the time, namely Chicano Studies.
The five goals this new area of study adopted were the following:
- Create new knowledge about the diverse Chicano community;
- Reformulate old knowledge;
- Apply research knowledge to the improvement of the material conditions of the Chicano community;
- Support the cultural renaissance within the community;
- Support social changes through a critical awareness and commitment to equity, and social justice.
In the 1980s, the rise of Chicana Studies added to these efforts to create space within institutions of higher education for the study of Chicana/o communities.
Several other goals focused around gender and sexuality were added to the field:
- Place gender as a central construct in the study of this community;
- Study the diversity of sexuality in the community;
- Challenge patriarchy within and outside the Chicano community;
- Support the pursuit of Chicana dreams and aspirations.