The National Association for Chicana and Chicano Studies (NACCS) was founded in 1972 to encourage research to further the political actualization of the Chicana and Chicano community. NACCS calls for committed, critical, and rigorous research. NACCS was envisioned not as an academic embellishment, but as a structure rooted in political life.
From its inception, NACCS presupposed a divergence from mainstream academic research. We recognize that mainstream research, based on an integrationist perspective emphasizing consensus, assimilation, and the legitimacy of society's institutions, has obscured and distorted the significant historical roles class, race, gender, sexuality and group interests have played in shaping our existence as a people. Our research confronts these perspectives and challenges the structures and ideologies of inequality based on classist, racist, sexist, and heterosexist privileges in society.
In shaping the form of this challenge, the Association contends that our research generate new knowledge about the Chicana and Chicano community. It should also help solve problems in the community. Problem-solving cannot be detached from an understanding of our position in this society. Solutions must be based on careful study and analysis of our communities. Concern with the immediate problems of our people, then, is not separated from a critical assessment of our conditions and the underlying structures and ideologies that contribute to our subordination.
NACCS recognizes the broader scope and significance of Chicana and Chicano research. We cannot overlook the crucial role of ideas in the construction and legitimization of social reality. Dominant theories, ideologies, and perspectives play a significant part in maintaining oppressive structures on theoretical, experiential, and policy levels. NACCS fosters the construction of theories and perspectives which attempt to explain the oppression and resistance of the Chicana and Chicano past, present, and future. Ideas must be translated into political action in order to foster change.