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Que Onda Urban Youth Culture and Border Identity - Essay Example

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Name of the of the Instructor History and Political Science   Date Submitted Que Onda? Urban Youth Culture and Border Identity Introduction Bejarano’s book is a labor of love based upon her unique place as an educator and ethnographer at the University of Arizona…
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Que Onda Urban Youth Culture and Border Identity
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Download file to see previous pages Politics of Identity along the Mexican Border In her book, Bejarano makes a strong case for the evolution and synthesis of a unique border identity that manifests itself along the long border that Mexico shares with the USA. In fact, hardly a day passes when we do not hear of something happening on this porous piece of land that separates the two nations. Living along the border has given Latino/as and Chicano/as a unique sense of identity- they either choose to remain true to their roots or create an altered culture and identity that is a hybrid of both American and local values. Using customs, styles, music and language, they create a new subculture that is an expression of their bi-national and bi-cultural experience. The socio-political landscape that they find themselves in while in adolescence helps create a culture that represents, defines and explains their unique identity (Bejarano, 88). For teens, adolescence represents a unique time in their lives when they are reaching out to the wider community through establishing friendships and communal bonds in their neighborhoods and localities. It is surprising that even Latino/as and Chicano/as want to be at a certain distance from each other in this respect due to their unique language, music and cultural differences. Each of these groups either adopts their own style of alternative culture, or blends in with the American culture to create a unique American-Latino or American-Chicano style. The unique identifiers are still music, clothing, videos and celebrity watchers and emulators of what they include in their reference groups (Bejarano, 95). Factors Influencing Identity Development along the Border Region There are a myriad number of factors that influence and infringe upon identity development along the border region that separates Mexico and the USA. They could choose to remain true to their roots or alternatively create a culture and identity that is a hybrid of both American and local values. They might well be confused, because even as part of the American population chooses to follow and emulate Chicano and Mexican values in dress, dance and music, most Latinos and Chicanos would still view this with distaste and ridicule. They would resent any effort to popularize and commercialize their values and identity in the name of farcical popular culture, when they see on the other hand that there is still hatred for the Mexican immigrant that crossed the border to earn a better standard of living for his or her family. Indeed the botched up effort to present guayaberas as a Mexican shirt was so ill-fated that it has served as a symbol of shamefulness to Mexicans as a misrepresentation of their culture- in true American style- and has led to retaliatory efforts in schools to create youth’s own ‘Chicanismo’ hybrid style which reflects their experiences in the school setting (Bejarano, 97). It is indeed not surprising that the author found that Chicano/as at Altamira High School chose to create a distinct sub-cultural identity for themselves as expressed in fashions, music and language, as well as interest in car shows and looking ‘ghetto fabulous’. Meanwhile, it is also clear that Mexicans and Chicanos differ in a number of ways regarding certain values and customs. The Mexicanas find that the major part of even their weekend is consumed by ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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