Mexican American Identity

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Frameworks
Looking at the Mexican-American Experience

The myth of the American Dream
 

The
 American
 Dream
 is
 the
 freedom
 allows
 all
  ci1zens
 and
 most
 residents
 of
 the
 United
 States
  to
 pursue
 their
 goals
 in
 life
 through
 hard
 work
  and
 free
 choice.
 
     

Freedom
  Hard
 work
  Choice
 of
 personal
 goals
 

Immigrant
 narra.ve
  Minority
 Narra.ves
 
  of
 dominant
 culture.
  (Not
 tradi.onal
  immigrants)
  Or
 the
 myth
 of
 the
  American
 Dream
 
 
Cultural
 group's
  original
 rela0on
 to
  USA
  Voluntary
 par1cipa1on
  (individual
 or
 ancestor
  chose
 to
 come
 to
  America)
  Involuntary
 par1cipa1on.
  ("America"
 came
 to
  individual
 or
 ancestral
  culture)
 

Cultural
 group's
  rela0on
 to
 0me
 

Modern
 or
  revolu1onary:
 Forget
  the
 past,
 leave
 it
  behind,
 get
 over
 it
  (original
 act
 of
  immigra1on;
 future-­‐ oriented)
  Abandonment
 of
 past
  context
 favors
 individual
  or
 nuclear
 family,
  erodes
 extended
 social
  structures.
 

Tradi1onal
 but
 disrupted:
  Reconnect
 to
 the
 past
 (not
  voluntarily
 abandoned;
  more
 like
 a
 wound
 that
  needs
 healing)
 

Social
 structures
 

Tradi1onal
 extended
 family
  shaNered;
 non-­‐nuclear,
  "alterna1ve,"
 or
 improvised
  families
 survive.
 

Perspectives comparison
Special Note: Individual members of any minority or immigrant culture will be located on a continuum of cultural characteristics and behaviors depending upon how long that individual or that individual’s family has been part of U.S. population

Perspec.ves
  Group
 versus
 individual
  valua;on
 

Dominant
 U.S.
 Culture
  Anglo
 culture
 typically
  encourages
 students
 to
  be
 more
 compe11ve
 and
  individualis1c.
  Modern
 or
 revolu1onary:
  Forget
 the
 past,
 leave
 it
  behind,
 get
 over
 it
  (original
 act
 of
  immigra1on;
 future-­‐ oriented)
  Direct
 and
 informal
 

Mexican-­‐American
 Culture
  Family
 or
 group
 needs
  frequently
 take
 precedence
  over
 the
 needs
 of
 the
  individual.
 
  Tradi1onal
 but
 disrupted:
  Reconnect
 to
 the
 past
 (not
  voluntarily
 abandoned;
 more
  like
 a
 wound
 that
 needs
  healing)
 

View
 of
 Time
 

Communica;on
 

Indirect
 and
 formal
 

So is the Mexican-American experience that of the immigrant, the minority, or some other group?

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