May 19 2012

ILan Stavans

Filed under Latino Lit

Each person is different not only because of individual qualities but because each family, each community, inculcates a set of principles that are colored by culture and establish what is good and what is evil. Those principles insert the person in a larger frame: that of the group that belongs not to the neighborhood or immediate community but to a bigger yet abstract entity. And in societies where different cultures cohabit, those principles battle for space and legitimization; the mainstream culture rules by accepting and denying the alternative cultures, by making them attractive or undesirable. (Stavans 1-2)

Here we can make inference that the need for assimilation stems from the fact that “each person is different” because families and communities have “inculcates” principles decorated by culture. The word, “inculcates” carries significance as it implies that these “set of principles” comes by repeatedly implanting an attitude or idea “colored by culture and establish what is good and what is evil” within that way of life. Therefore, “an abstract entity” houses each person from each community and each family. The inculcation of the set of principles place people into a “group that belongs not to the neighborhood or immediate community but to a bigger yet “abstract entity.” This “abstract entity” could possibly mean Latinos and their major Hispanic groups. Therefore, the mainstream culture engulfs all other culture by “accepting and denying the alternative cultures” through its rules. These rules possess the ability to make these other cultures “attractive or undesirable” which leads to its invincible reign. Hence, a successful assimilation for Mexican Americans is dependent on them appealing to the rules of the mainstream culture.

33 responses so far

May 19 2012

Hyphenation

Filed under Latino Lit

And Now!

I must choose

between

the paradox of

victory of the spirit,

despite physical hunger,

or

to exist in the grasp

of American social neurosis,

sterilization of the soul

and a full stomach. (Gonzales 788)

In this passage, we see the presence of hyphenation taking place in the life of Joaquin. A choice unfolds between “the paradox of victory of the spirit […] or […] to exist in the grasp of American social neurosis” in America. Both sides represent the two sides of the hyphen. Clearly, “victory of the spirit, despite physical hunger” bares the Mexican heritage while existing “in the grasp of American social neurosis” bares the U.S. mainstream.

 

58 responses so far

May 19 2012

My Thoughts on Eng 255

Filed under Latino Lit

I have learned about latino literature a great deal and how to compose an article in a new and much more effective manner.  Some of the things that i have learn are :

  •     Cultural themes surrounding the social history of the identification category Latin@
  •     Latin@ literature and Latin American literature within the U.S. Literature and World Literature canons
  •     Nature of translation and power relations in literature and in social practice
  •    Writing to sustain further analyses and development
  •    Critique, analyze, and apply academic terminology from researched critical sources
I truly appreciate the writing techniques. I can now read  any article on the Queens College database without feeling lost or overwhelmed. Composing a PIE paragraph is one of the best thing that i have ever learned while at QC. It is straight forward, simple to construct and allows one’s to effortlessly express ideas and thoughts. Also, I am pretty sure that I will not forget how to cite sources within a paper and correctly compose a works cited page. “To Be Verb”  elimination was an eye opener for me. Like most students, I was unaware of its existence and the benefits of not having them in any paper or writing exercise. However, I am now grateful for knowing about it and I can see its benefits for myself. My knowledge of Latino Culture increased drastically during the semester. Learning about Latino’s history, people, culture, struggles and strengths increased my understanding and appreciation for Latinos.

46 responses so far

May 18 2012

Progress and Anglo Success

Filed under Latino Lit

Yes,

I have come a long way to nowhere

unwillingly dragged by that

monstrous, technical

industrial giant called

Progress

and Anglo success…

Progress and Anglo success take the shape of a “monstrous, technical industrial giant” which deemed fruitless for the Joaquin’s character. Although the character “have come a long way” as stated, he does not have any form of success with Progress or Anglo success. Here we can safely say that coming “a long way” could represent a lengthy assimilation within the path of Downward Assimilation.  As previously stated, Downward Assimilation does not result in noble achievements, but rather “few resources.”

 

182 responses so far

May 18 2012

I Am Joaquin

Filed under Latino Lit

I am Joaquin,

lost in a world of confusion,

caught up in the whirl of a

gringo society,

confused by the rules,

scorned by attitudes,

suppressed by manipulation,

and destroyed by modern society. (Gonzales 788)

In Rodolfo Gonzales’s “I Am Joaquin” work, we see one of the paths of Assimilation called Downward Assimilation in the poem. The poet description describing Joaquin’s “confused” and “suppressed” state of mind resembles “immigrants with fee resources” within Downward Assimilation. We know that the cause of Joaquin’s dilemma comes from external sources because he feels “confused by the rules” , “scorned by attitudes”, “suppressed by manipulation” and “destroyed by modern society.” Therefore we can say that Joaquin faces these unfortunate circumstances through the gringo society. The character Joaquin finds himself feeling “lost in a world of confusion” within the gringo society. Confusion usually associates with the hyphenated status as one finds themselves standing between two worlds. One world represents their nativity and language while the other world represents the U.S. mainstream. One could say that the separating line between the two worlds signifies a hyphen. The hyphen that separates Mexican from American.

91 responses so far

May 18 2012

“Non Whiteness”

Filed under Latino Lit

Our house stood apart. A gaudy yellow in a row of white bungalows. We were the poeple with the noisy dog. The people who raised pigeons and chickens. We were the foreigners on the block. A few neighbors smiled and waved. But no one in the family know the names of the old couple who lived next door; until I was seven years old. I did not know the names of the kids who lived across the street. In public, my father and mother spoke a hesitant, accented, not always grammatical English. […] At home they spoke Spanish. The language of their Mexican past sounded in counterpoint to the English of public society. (1576-1577)

“Non Whiteness” can apply to objects that the minority group owns such as a house. Rodriguez’s house stood apart from all the other houses in the neighborhood. His “gaudy yellow” house stood distinctly different from the “row of white bungalows” within the same neighbor. We can safely say that this distinction warrants no mere coincidence, but serves as Rodriguez’s tact of demonstrating his Mexican “non whiteness” from his white neighbors. Consequently, this distinct difference isolates the Rodriguez’s family from their neighbors. Rodriguez states that his family carry the label of the “foreigners on the block” with little or no acceptance. This ostracizing ties in suitably with  the notion that “non-whiteness poses a barrier to occupational mobility and social acceptance (56). […] ‘the children of […] mestizo immigrants cannot so easily reduce their ethnicity to a level of a voluntary decision” (Golash-Boza 30).  Rodriguez cannot find any social acceptance with any of the “kids who lived across the street” because like Rodriguez, they receive inculcations within the home from the neighbors. Non whiteness can also apply to languages because it has the ability to creates barriers or bonds among people. Rodriguez’s parents speaking spanish and little English illustrates a form of “non whiteness” because of language differences. The rules of the mainstream culture dictates that English is acceptable while denying Spanish. Ilan Stavans would classify such circumstance as “in societies where different cultures cohabit, those principles battle for space and legitimization; the mainstream culture rules by accepting and denying the alternative cultures, by making them attractive or undesirable” (Stavans 1-2).

41 responses so far

May 18 2012

Richard Rodriguez

Filed under Latino Lit

An accident of geography sent me to a school where all my classmates were white, many the children of doctors and lawyers and business executives. All my classmates certainly must have been uneasy on that first day of school- as most children are uneasy- to find themselves apart from their families in the first institution of their lives. But I was astonished. The nun said, in a friendly but oddly impersonal voice, ‘Boys and girls, this is Richard Rodriguez.’ (I heard her sound out: Rich-heard Road-ree-guess.) It was the first time I had heard anyone name me in English. ‘Richard, the nun repeatedly more slowly, writing my name down in her black leather book. Quickly I turned to see my mother’s face dissolve in a watery blur behind the pebbled glass door. (Rodriguez 1576)

Here, author, Rodriguez gives us a peak into the birthplace of “non whiteness”. Initially, he tells us about the social economic status and racial group of the classmates by saying that “all my classmates were white, many the children of doctors and lawyers and business executives.” Secondly, he tells us about the unease mental state of his classmates because they “find themselves apart from their families in the first institution of their lives.” This implies that a home does not fulfill the role of an institution, but that it “inculcates a set of principles colored by culture” as Stavans inform us previously. He illustrates that “non whiteness” initially manifests itself within the institution called school. The explicit visualization of “non whiteness” in combination with the indifferent attitude expressed by the nun serves as another inculcation for the white classmates against Richard Rodriguez who is Mexican American. The nun is covertly communication to the students that Rodriguez belongs to the “non white” group. In addition, the elongation and rendering of his name further set him apart from his white classmates. With this in mind, we can say that the meaning of  “non whiteness” signifies individual who are not from the Anglos majority group. This understanding brings us back to the generic definition of the word “assimilation” as stated previously by South. Rodriguez’s astonishment shares similar reaction with Paco Rodriguez who discovered that assimilating deem more “shocking than one would think.” In addition, the nun amplified and prove that “non whiteness” deem as a barrier within the Anglos majority group by her “friendly but oddly impersonal voice” towards the class. As a representative of an institution, the nun non verbally communicates her disapproval and indifference towards Rodriguez. Hence, the classmates will more than likely express such behavior towards Rodriguez as well. At this point, Rodriguez’s unsuitable name and nationality becomes unattractive and undesirable. His mother who represents these traits “dissolve in a watery blur behind the pebbled glass door” as a sign of assimilation. The cutting down and washing away of barriers in order to receive acceptance within the U.S. mainstream for Rodriguez.

45 responses so far

May 08 2012

Abstract

Filed under Latino Lit

I am interested in the idea of migration and assimilation among Mexican immigrants. I would like to discuss some of the racial and social obstacles they encounter that prevent them from integrating into the U.S. mainstream successfully. Although a majority of Mexican American immigrants assimilate successfully within the U.S. mainstream; a minority may not assimilate successfully. Consequently, several researchers such as Portes and Rumbaut along with Tanya Golash-Boza developed variations of Assimilation which describes this minority. This argument addresses this minority group and identifies the racial and social issues which prevented them from successfully assimilating.

The focus texts written by Mexican American writers from The Norton Anthology of Latino Literature come from Hunger of Memory: The Education of Richard Rodriguez written by Richard Rodriguez. I am Joaquin written by Rodolfo “Corky” Gonzales and Pocho written by Jose Antonio Villarreal.

Supporting articles which will be used as critical lens come from   “Dropping the Hyphen? Becoming Latino(a)-American through Racialized Assimilation.” by Tanya Golash-Boza. “Migration and Spatial Assimilation among U.S. Latinos: Classical versus Segmented Trajectories” by Scott J. South et al. The Hispanic Condition: The Power of a People by Ilan Stavans. Immigrant Quality and Assimilation: A Review of the Us Literature by Paul T. Schultz.

 

Works Cited

Golash-Boza, Tanya. “Dropping the Hyphen? Becoming Latino(a)-American through Racialized Assimilation.” Social Forces 85.1 (2006): 27-55. JSTOR. Web. 28 April 2012.

Gonzales, Rodolfo, “Corky.” “I Am Joaquin.” 1967. The Norton Anthology of Latino Literature. Eds. Ilan Stavans, et al. New York: W. W. Norton and Company, 2011. 788-799. Print.

Rodriguez, Richard. “From Hunger of Memory: The Education of Richard Rodriguez.” 1982. The Norton Anthology of Latino Literature. Eds. Ilan Stavans, et al. New York: W. W. Norton and Company, 2011. 1575-1591. Print.

Stavans, Ilan. The Hispanic Condition: The Power of a People. New York: Rayo, 2001. Print

Schultz, Paul T. “Immigrant Quality and Assimilation: A Review of the Us Literature.” Journal of Population Economics 11.2 (1998): 239-252. JSTOR. Web 28 April 2012.

South, Scott J, et al. “Migration and Spatial Assimilation among U.S. Latinos: Classical versus Segmented Trajectories.” Demography 42.3 (2005): 497-521. JSTOR. Web. 28 April 2012.

Villarreal, Jose, Antonio. “From Pocho.” 1959. The Norton Anthology of Latino Literature. Eds. Ilan Stavans, et al. New York: W. W. Norton and Company, 2011. 712 -732. Print.

 

 

 

39 responses so far

May 02 2012

Assimilate Me!

Filed under Latino Lit

"The Melting Pot"

The concept of a “melting pot” brings to light the profound reality that exists between Assimilation and the American Dream. The American- Maker photo depicts a figurative pot melting barriers such as language, culture, religion and nationality into one main ingredient which is “American”…….

24 responses so far

Apr 20 2012

The power of the home on race

Filed under Latino Lit

The Anderson Cooper’s video demonstrated two profound findings within America. The influence of the media and the economic fuel stereotypes and covertly shaped americans and the world at large, their attitudes towards race. Since a child is not born with an awareness of race or its stereotypes; it can only mean that children receive these perceptions at home and from the public society. Hence, the problem lies not with the child, but with parental “broughtupcy”, the media and the economy. One of the speakers made a profound statement that the media shaped the coverage within the new room which results in bias attitude. She stated that certain race receives a brighter spotlight within negative situations while another race receives the same spotlight, but within more positive circumstances. This results in the child internalizing and developing bias towards a particular race. The last speaker made a recommended statement that race should be discuss as oppose to sweeping it beneath the carpet because people do see color whether they admit it or not. At this point, such discussion falls into a highly overdue category as racial issues overtly and covertly take precedence presently in America.

One response so far

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