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ERIC Number: EJ851808
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 19
ISSN: ISSN-1478-2103
Discourses of Legitimacy: A Love Song to Our Mongrel Selves
Filmer, Alice A.
Policy Futures in Education, v7 n2 p200-216 2009
In an intervention that blurs methodological boundaries traditionally separating the researcher from the researched, history from poetry, and the personal from the political, the author weaves a narrative account of her Euro-American family's early history in California into a larger set of social and historical events taking place during the nineteenth century. She employs the metaphor of "legitimacy" to trace her growing awareness of the physical, psychological, and political parallels at work in the colonization of lands, cultures, and bodies in the "New World". Providing context for the mid-nineteenth century war between the USA and Mexico, she analyzes discursive constructs such as hybridity, impurity, and "mongrelization" as they are evoked in the legend of Malinche--the sixteenth-century, indigenous translator and lover of the Spanish conquistador, Hernan Cortes. Four centuries later, echoes of that "intermarriage" and the transgression of many other kinds of boundaries can be heard in the author's unconventional relationship with her son's Mexican father. She offers a "post-critical" perspective in the conclusion by bringing her own voice into dialogue with those of several post-colonial theorists. This ethnography integrates autoethnography, voices from history, and textual analysis into seldom-heard conversations about the conventional and unconventional workings of power and identity. In so doing, both the fixity and fluidity of concepts such as culture, nation, family, language, social class, race, and gender are revealed. (Contains 20 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California; Mexico; United States