Chicano Social Identity Analysis

1846 Words8 Pages
Betsy Casas
Chicano Studies 10A/ Dis 2k
Professor Romero/ Brenda Nicholas
December 9th, 2015
An Analysis of the Traditional Chicano Social Identity For more than one hundred years, Mexicans (as well as other Latino groups) have been regarded as racially non-white peoples, who are not able to become part of mainstream American white society; as they (we) have been systematically “put aside” and have substantially been prohibited participation, and therefore access to such. This has been strongly manifested by the evident marginalization, as well as second-class treatment, experienced by this and other Latino groups in the United States. With actions such as the intent of many Mexican Americans to prove their patriotism by fighting in World
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The undertaking of Chicano as the identity of the movement, resembled a form of cultural resilience (or psychological work), as it was first deemed as a derogatory term used to describe immigrant farmworkers who recently arrived to the U.S. Altogether, the Chicano movement corresponded to the quest of an identity which by all nature, was anti-racist, acknowledging mestizaje as crucial in Chicano identities; accompanied with a strong cultural pride and self-determination. However, these key elements of the Chicano social identity have been by many means exclusionary; as they only acknowledge the mixture of Indian and Spanish bloods, leaving other bloods unacknowledged and thus invisible; other Latino groups are minimized as their presence hasn’t been as visible and strong as the Mexican Chicano one; leaving as “only option” the act of hovering under the Chicano social identity, even if it doesn’t take into account their differences and virtues. Alongside this, there is also an exclusion of those who…show more content…
However, the epic poem “I Am Joaquin,” written by the poet and civil rights leader Rodolfo “Corky” Gonzales, gave the term Chicano a second chance; as with his poem he was able to distance, if not erase, the negative connotation of the term; and instead was able to give it the opportunity to become the identity the Mexican American community had for so long waited for. Yet, it must be acknowledged that this renaissance social identity was by many means exclusionary. It strongly emphasized an anti-racist identity, which was founded on the indigenous heritage, and as a matter of fact recognized mestizaje as an essential part of the Chicano social identity. Because Chicanos are supposed to be mestizos. Yet, this is not always the case. The traditional Chicano social identity also fails to acknowledge the importance of women in the movement, as well as in the dynamics of life itself; as it is male dominated as portrayed in the poem “I Am Joaquin.” Ultimately, the exclusiveness of the Chicano social identity is illustrated in the hovering of other latino communities under this identity, as it doesn’t take into consideration the need to accept difference, in order to provide the space these communities need; as they lack the visibility and strength the Chicano social identity
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