Julian Samora’s scholarly pursuits were wide and varied. As the website develops, some of Samora’s papers will be published here to give the reader a first-hand account of his work. What follows is an overview of some of the areas in which he focused.

Medical Sociology
In 1954, Samora worked in conjunction with one of the first teams in Medical Sociology, which was headed by Dr. Lyle Saunders at the University of Colorado Medical School in Denver, Colorado. Saunders developed research to understand the sociological implications of the delivery of health care systems. Samora added to the research base by studying the effects of the Spanish speaking culture in the delivery of health services. Further, many concede that Samora gave the first undergraduate course in medical sociology in the United States.

Conceptions of Health and Disease Among Spanish-Americans

Community Leadership
Samora’s doctoral thesis in 1953 was entitled “Minority Leadership in a Bi-Cultural Community: An Analysis”. He researched the interaction between the majority Anglo political leadership and the minority Spanish speaking political leadership in a small town in Colorado. That project inaugurated a life-long interest in cultivating and valuing ethnic political leadership.


Samora Dissertation

Subordinate Leadership in a Bicultural Community

Tribute to Tomas Rivera-LOOKING BACK-Oct. 1985

In collaboration with his graduate students, Jorge Bustamante and Gilberto Cardenas, Samora authored the first book length study of undocumented Mexican immigration into the United States. The book, “Los Mojados”, published in 1971, was produced through the U.S.-Mexico Border Studies Project at the University of Notre Dame, which was under Samora’s direction.

Lamanna-Midwest Study

Nelson, Eugene-Pablo Cruz and the American Dream

Border Studies
Working through Dr. Charles Loomis’ border studies network based at Michigan State University, Samora was one of the first scholars to explore academically the relationship between the people of Mexican origin living in the United States with the U.S.-Mexico border region. He was one of the first Mexican American scholars to live and work as a scholar in Latin America. He appreciated the multi-faceted and dynamic nature of the relationship between Mexican Americans with Mexico. And in addition, he strove to make the United States more aware of its complicated relationship with Mexico and her people.

Poverty in the Southwest ND

Sp People in American Society 1964

SW Conference 1963

Higher Education
Through his work on political leadership, Samora saw the importance of training people to move into majority leadership positions. In 1971, he established the Mexican American Graduate Studies Program, which facilitated the training of leaders. By sponsoring young people in their pursuit of a graduate degree, Samora enabled a new generation of scholars to work in leadership positions.

Declaration Under Oath State of Indiana, County of St. Joseph

JS-EG Article

JS Article

Samora_Black Issues in Higher Education

George Sanchez and Testing in Humanidad

Social Justice
In 1968, Julian Samora, Ernesto Galarza, and Herman Gallegos formed the Southwest Council of La Raza, which later became the National Council of La Raza, the nations premier advocate for civil rights for Latinos. Samora supported the establishment of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund, served on their board, and made available the most current research to help the fight against social injustice. Later he received a grant from the United States Civil Rights Commission to develop a report on Spanish speaking populations in the U.S.

1966 Report_Civil Rights Commission

Civil Rights Speech

Ernesto Galarza Four Promises

Gallegos 40 years NCLR

The New Encuentro

Chicano Studies
Samora helped develop and establish Chicano Studies as a legitimate degreed field of study. He and Dr. Ernesto Galarza were instrumental in developing course materials for the budding field.


Notre Dame Press
With money from a grant from the Ford Foundation, Samora was able to develop a pioneering series of books in the field of Chicano Studies published by the Notre Dame Press. Such authors as Ernesto Galarza, Frances Swadish, Alfredo Mirende, and Mario Barrerra found a voice through the press.

Reviews by Julian Samora

Documentary History of Mexican Americans

Health in the Mexican American Culture

Internat’l Bibliography

Language Loyalty in the United States

Unto The Least Of These