Latino/a Studies

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Perspectives in Mexican American, Studies Volume 7

University of Arizona Mexican American Studies and Research Center, University of Arizona

The newest volume of Perspectives in Mexican American Studies features articles by several new voices, and by others who have a long list of published works to their credit. They provide us with information of interest and offer fresh observations of the Mexican American experience. The authors include veterans of el movimiento,

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Tunnel Kids

The University of Arizona Press

Winner of the Southwest Book Award! Beneath the streets of the U.S.-Mexico border, children are coming of age. They have come from all over Mexico to find shelter and adventure in the drainage tunnels that connect the twin cities of Nogales, Sonora, and Nogales, Arizona. This book opens up the world of the tunnel kids and tells how in this murky underworld of struggling immigrants, drug dealers, and thieves, these kids have carved out a place of their own.

Two parallel tunnels— each fourteen feet wide and several miles long— drain the summer rains from Mexico to the United States. Here and in the crumbling colonias you'll meet the tunnel kids: streetwise El Boston, a six-year veteran of the tunnels; his little pal Jesús; Jesús' girlfriend, La Flor, and her six-month-old baby; wild Negra; poetic Guanatos; moody Romel and his beautiful girlfriend, La Fanta. They form an extended family of some two dozen young people who live hard-edged lives and answer to no one in El Barrio Libre— the free barrio.

Lawrence Taylor and Maeve Hickey met these kids at Mi Nueva Casa, the safe house built to draw the youths out of the tunnels and into a more normal life. The authors spent two summers with tunnel kids as they roamed all over Nogales and beyond in their struggle to survive. In the course of their adventures the kids described their lives, talking about what might tempt them to leave the tunnels— and what kept them there.

Hickey's stunning portraits provide a heart-stopping counterpoint to Taylor's incisive prose. Story and photos together open a window into the life of the tunnel kids—a world like that of many homeless children, precarious and adaptive, albeit unique to the border. Where most people might see just another gang of doped-up, violent children, Taylor and Hickey discover displaced and sometimes heroic young people whose stories add a human dimension to the world of the U.S.-Mexico border.

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Mexican-Origin People in the United States

The University of Arizona Press

The history of the United States in the twentieth century is inextricably entwined with that of people of Mexican origin. The twenty million Mexicans and Mexican Americans living in the U.S. today are predominantly a product of post-1900 growth, and their numbers give them an increasingly meaningful voice in the political process.

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Mexican-Origin People in the United States

The University of Arizona Press

The history of the United States in the twentieth century is inextricably entwined with that of people of Mexican origin. The twenty million Mexicans and Mexican Americans living in the U.S. today are predominantly a product of post-1900 growth, and their numbers give them an increasingly meaningful voice in the political process.

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I Am My Language

The University of Arizona Press

“I am my language,” says the poet Gloria Anzaldúa, because language is at the heart of who we are. But what happens when a person has more than one language? Is there an overlay of language on identity, and do we shift identities as we shift languages? More important, what identities do children construct for themselves when they use different languages in particular ways? In this book, Norma González uses language as a window on the multiple levels of identity construction in children—as well as on the complexities of life in the borderlands—to explore language practices and discourse patterns of Mexican-origin mothers and the language socialization of their children. She shows how the unique discourses that result from the interplay of two cultures shape perceptions of self and community, and how they influence the ways in which children learn and families engage with their children's schools. González demonstrates that the physical presence of the border profoundly affects the practices and ideologies of Mexican-origin women and children. She then argues that language and cultural background should be used as a basis for building academic competencies, and she demonstrates why the evocative/emotive dimension of language should play a major part in studies of discourse, language socialization, and language ideology. Drawing on women's own narratives of their experiences as both mothers and borderland residents, I Am My Language is firmly rooted in the words of common people in their everyday lives. It combines personal odyssey with cutting-edge ethnographic research, allowing us to hear voices that have been muted in the academic and public policy discussions of “what it means to be Latina/o” and showing us new ways to connect language to complex issues of education, political economy, and social identity.

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Chicano Popular Culture

The University of Arizona Press

Over the past several decades, Mexican Americans have made an indelible mark on American culture through the music of bands such as Santana and Los Lobos, films such as Zoot Suit, and a wide range of literature, such as Sandra Cisneros's The House on Mango Street. Now Charles Tatum introduces students to these and ...

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