Students of everyday life are making a significant contribution to understanding the manner in which persons carry out their daily activities. However, they have overlooked the impact of bureaucratic organizations on persons in various social settings. Based upon intensive in-depth interviews of sixty Mexican American elderly in Dallas, Texas, the research revealed numerous barriers to their utilization of health and social services and demonstrates why one must consider carefully how health and social service organizations affect the lives of elderly Mexican Americans. One must also recognize that the quality of life of Mexican American elders can be improved by increasing their knowledge of how formal organizations function.

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