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ERIC Number: EJ837968
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 34
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0005-2604
"American" Abjection: "Chicanos," Gangs, and Mexican/Migrant Transnationality in Chicago
De Genova, Nicholas
Aztlan: A Journal of Chicano Studies, v33 n2 p141-174 Fall 2008
Crime and street violence often evoke racialized discourses about urban space. In this ethnographic research in Chicago, however, the disdain that many Mexican migrants articulated about street gangs principally concerned issues "internal" to the Mexican/Chicano community, notably a profound ambivalence about U.S.-born Mexicans and a highly contradictory discourse on the inauthenticity of "Chicanos." Given the intimate relations between Mexican migrants and U.S.-born Mexicans in Chicago, the migrants' disavowal of gangs was preeminently a discourse about their own children and social reproduction. "Gangs" were the premier optic by which Mexican migrants could produce a critical difference between their own "Mexican"-ness, which they wanted to see reproduced in their children, and the debased condition deflected onto an unsettlingly intimate Other, namely Chicanos, whose perceived pathologies they sought to repudiate. These discourses figured Chicanos--in effect, Mexican migrants' own children--as a pivotal link in the fraught nexus between Mexicanness, as a racialized transnationality within the space of the U.S. nation-state, and the degraded status of U.S. "minority" associated with African American Blackness.
UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center. 193 Haines Hall, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1544. Tel: 310-794-9380; Tel: 310-825-2642; Fax: 310-206-1784; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Illinois; Mexico; United States