Friday, May 25th, 2012...1:42 am

35. Abstract

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The pachuco culture that emerged in the 1940s Southwest United States highlighted the ambivalence of those with mixed cultural identities. In this article, I will suggest the ways in which the group divulges into neither Mexican culture nor American culture, but rides the line in between and creates a unique border culture. In this article, I will analyze Javier Durán’s “Nation and Translation: The “Pachuco” in Mexican Popular Culture: Germán Valdéz’s Tin Tan” and Octavio Paz’s “The Labyrinth of Solitude” to suggest the practices of the pachucos create a culture of excessiveness that both hides and exposes the pachucos in society. Luis Valdez’s “Zoot Suit” clearly expresses the practice of the pachuco culture in terms of performance and mimicry as well as the notion that the pachuco culture represents a hybrid of two cultural worlds through the use of “Spanglish.” I will analyze this cultural identity through the lens of Judith Butler’s notion of the “performative” and Homi Bhabha’s “mimicry.” In other words, I suggest the ways in which pachucos perform and mimic identity in order to reclaim and rebuild a specific cultural identity that gives them a specific place in culture and society. I will discuss Gloria Anzaldúa’s “Borderlands/La Frontera” and the ways in which her ideas of “border culture” parallel the ambiguity of the pachuco culture.

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