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Chicana/o Experience: Contemporary Issues. ETHN 100 Week 12 Session 1. Last Session. Sketched the structural and cultural influences that shape the political dimension of the Mexican American experience by focusing on the evolution of Chicana/o communities in Los Angeles, California. .

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Presentation Transcript
last session
Last Session
  • Sketched the structural and cultural influences that shape the political dimension of the Mexican American experience by focusing on the evolution of Chicana/o communities in Los Angeles, California.
today
Today
  • Discuss the political situation of Mexican Americans historically and in the contemporary moment.
  • Begin comparing and contrasting across groups for WA4/final paper.
recap power and resistance
Recap: Power and Resistance
  • We talked about the various ways that A gets B to do what A wants. (Dahl) We are also concerned with understanding how B resists A.
  • We also noted that we have to think of power (and resistance) more broadly than observable behaviors. (Lukes)
  • We are trying to understand power at the ideological level, in particular the way power creates structures of knowledge (Foucault) that shape people’s sense of reality (Gramsci).
sanchez p 38 on the u s mexico border two definitions
Sanchez, p. 38 on the U.S.-Mexico Border: Two Definitions

“The international border suggests limitations, boundaries over which American power and might have little or no control. It implies a dual vision, that of two nations looking at each other over a strip of land they hold in common. It acknowledges that at least two distinct peoples meet in this region, neither having the certain destiny of cultural and military superiority, and with conflict being an ever-present historical possibility…

Underlying Ideas: Borders as rigid, fixed, separating two discrete parties with distinct world views and ways of life.

slide6

“The border, however, is also a social construct and has a distinct history. Simply demarking a line in the desert or a point on a river which designates the jurisdiction of two governments does not address the social and cultural significance assigned to that spot. It fails to account for the complex cultural and economic relationships that intertwine two countries when they share a common border. Moreover, the relationship between the United States and Mexico is further complicated by the fact that that the northern side of this legal boundary was once held by the Republic of Mexico. As movement across this boundary increases, both sides have vested interest in “creating” and “recreating” the border to suit the new social and economic realities of the region. The first four decades of [the previous] century saw the border social invented in its modern version, to meet the needs of both governments.”

Underlying Ideas: Borders as fluid, overlapping, historical, and having social meanings that change.

political situation of mexican americans
Political Situation of Mexican Americans
  • Fabionar’s “Thesis”: The border is emblematic of the political situation of Mexican Americans / Chicana/os. When the meaning of the border changes, so does the political situation of Mexican Americans.
  • Underlying Idea: Borders as internalized and manifested culturally and materially.
group discussion
Group Discussion
  • How did World War II change the social “meaning” of the border?
  • How did young second- and third-generation Mexican Americans in World War II-era Los Angeles embody the political, social, and cultural complexities of this meaning?
recap power and resistance1
Recap: Power and Resistance
  • We talked about the various ways that A gets B to do what A wants. (Dahl) We are also concerned with understanding how B resists A.
  • We also noted that we have to think of power (and resistance) more broadly than observable behaviors. (Lukes)
  • We are trying to understand power at the ideological level, in particular the way power creates structures of knowledge (Foucault) that shape people’s sense of reality (Gramsci).
slide12

External/ Material

Power and Resistance

Internal/Metaphysical

Structure

Identity

Culture

group discussion1
Group Discussion
  • Assuming the political cartoon is emblematic of a mainstream and contemporary view of the border, how would we describe the political situation of Mexican Americans today?
  • Some ideas to unpack:
    • Who does Uncle Sam represent? Why does he want Mexicans to “Keep Out”?
    • Who do the employers represent? Why do they want to hire Mexicans?
    • How does this “mixed message” shape the political struggle of Mexican Americans?
    • What contemporary examples of this politics comes to mind? How do Mexican Americans resist?
recap power and resistance2
Recap: Power and Resistance
  • We talked about the various ways that A gets B to do what A wants. (Dahl) We are also concerned with understanding how B resists A.
  • We also noted that we have to think of power (and resistance) more broadly than observable behaviors. (Lukes)
  • We are trying to understand power at the ideological level, in particular the way power creates structures of knowledge (Foucault) that shape people’s sense of reality (Gramsci).
slide17

External/ Material

Power and Resistance

Internal/Metaphysical

Structure

Identity

Culture

next session
Next Session
  • Writing Workshop 4a and Introduction to Asian American Studies
  • Reading Notes: Marger, Ch. 11