Our Lady of Everyday Life examines the lived religion, from childhood to adulthood, of three generations of Mexican-origin Catholic women. The book provides an in-depth analysis of the Catholic beliefs that the women in this study inherited from their mothers, and the ways these beliefs become the religious/cultural template from which they first learn to see themselves as people of faith. Our Lady of Everyday Life also offers a comprehensive
analysis of the ways Catholic culture sets the parameters within which Mexican-origin women learn how to be good girls in a manner that reduces a girl's agency to rubble. Castaneda-Liles demonstrates how women develop a type of Mexican Catholic imagination that moves them to challenge and reject the sanctification of shame,
guilt, and aguante (endurance at all cost). This imagination allows these women to transgress limiting notions of what a good Catholic woman should be while retaining the aspects of Catholicism they find life-givingwhile still identifying as Catholics. This transgression is most visible in their relationship to La Virgen de Guadalupe, which is not fixed but fluid and deeply engaged in their process of self-awareness in everyday life.
Our Lady of Everyday Life applies an intersectional analysis that centers religion along with race, class, gender, and sexuality to the study of women. This ethnography provides an in-depth cross-sectional analysis of three generations of Mexican-origin women between the ages of 18 and 82 (single and in college, mothers and older women). It is a multi-method study, including structured and unstructured interviews, focus groups, photographic and video documentation, and participant
observation in Mexico and the United States.