Constructing Identities in Mexican American Political by Benjamin Marquez

By Benjamin Marquez

''Marquez has produced a useful learn of political range between Mexican American curiosity teams. His paintings exposes the fault of equating Mexican American--and via extension, i feel, any other--ethnicity with any particular, less a uniquely radical, political ideology.'' --Sidney Plotkin, Professor of Political technology, Vassar collage The formation of a bunch id has regularly been a massive preoccupation of Mexican American political enterprises, whether or not they search to assimilate into the dominant Anglo society or to stay cut loose it. but companies that sought to symbolize a large move component to the Mexican American inhabitants, equivalent to LULAC and the yank G.I. discussion board, have faded in club and impression, whereas more recent, extra distinct political companies are prospering--clearly suggesting that winning political organizing calls for greater than shared ethnicity and the adventure of discrimination. This ebook sheds new gentle at the means of political identification formation via a learn of the id politics practiced via 4 significant Mexican American political organizations--the Southwest community for Environmental and fiscal Justice, the Southwest business parts origin, the Texas organization of Mexican American Chambers of trade, and the Mexican American Women's nationwide organization (now referred to as MANA--A nationwide Latina Organization). via interviews with activists in each one association and study into their documents, Benjamin Marquez clarifies the racial, class-based, and cultural components that experience triggered those organisations to create greatly differing political identities. He likewise demonstrates why their particular targets resonate simply with specific segments of the Mexican American group.

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Their early correspondence has been lost, and none of the four networks has a complete set of its own newsletters. To compound my difficulties, public and private university libraries have not acquired or archived many of their documents. I have encountered this problem in all of my previous research projects on community organizing. I am grateful to the Southwest Network for Environmental and Economic Justice, Texas Association of Mexican American Chambers of Commerce, and MANA: A National Latina Organization for giving me access to their files.

Marxist social movement theorists have generally adopted an orthodox interpretation of minority organizations by characterizing their activities as direct challenges to capitalism. In some cases, sweeping statements are made about the formation of organizations by race and ethnicity expressing a working-class identity at its core (Epstein ; Adam ). Other critics of racial hierarchies could argue that subordination can be fully understood only by revealing the economic structure within which racial groups are embedded (Bloom ).

The last criterion is especially important, because grassroots support is a good indicator of a political identity’s ability to resonate with and mobilize a racial and ethnic constituency. All four groups are mass-based political organizations, but they are not identical in their form and substance. Activists with SNEEJ believe their movement is an indigenous struggle against  years of European colonialism. The IAF network has developed a religiously based model of commu- Mexican-American Social Movement Organizations 23 nity organizing.

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