1st Edition

Mexican American Women, Dress and Gender Pachucas, Chicanas, Cholas

By Amaia Ibarraran-Bigalondo Copyright 2019
    132 Pages
    by Routledge

    132 Pages
    by Routledge

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    Mexican American women have endured several layers of discrimination deriving from a strong patriarchal tradition and a difficult socioeconomic and cultural situation within the US ethnic and class organization. However, there have been groups of women who have defied their fates at different times and in diverse forms.

    Mexican American Women, Dress, and Gender observes how Pachucas, Chicanas, and Cholas have used their body image (dress, hairstyle, and body language) as a political tool of deviation and attempts to measure the degree of intentionality in said oppositional stance. For this purpose and, claiming the sociological power of photographs as a representation of precise sociohistorical moments, this work analyzes several photographs of women of said groups; with the aim of proving the relevance of "other" body images in expressing gender and ethnic identification, or disidentification from the mainstream norm.

    Proposing a diachronic, comparative approach to young Mexican American women, this monograph will appeal to students and researchers interested in Chicano History, Race and Ethnic Studies, American History, Feminism, and Gender Studies.

    Table of Contents


    A Note to the Reader

    Table of Contents


    Chapter 1. Dress, Clothing, Fashion and Style

    1.1. The Function of Dress

    1.2. Clothing, Fashion and Style

    Chapter 2. The 20th Century and Fashion

    Chapter 3. Style, Subcultures and Mexican American Women

    Chapter 4. Pachucas: Breaking the Norms in the Forties

    4.1. Life and Expectations for US Women in the Forties

    4.1.1. World War II and Mexican American Women

    4.2. Women’s Fashion in the Forties

    4.3. The Pachuca: A Rebel Withouth a Cause

    4.3.1. Pachucas, Pachucos and the Zoot Suit Riots

    4.3.2. The Pachuca Style Politics

    Chapter 5. Chicanas: Fighting the Norm in the Seventies

    5.1. Life and Expectations for US Women in the Seventies

    5.2. Women’s Fashion in the Seventies

    5.3. El Movimiento Chicano and La Chicana

    5.4. The Chicana Style Politics

    5.4.1. The Brown Berets

    5.4.2. The Chicana Feminist Activists

    Chapter 6. Cholas: Adapting to Other Norms in the Nineties

    6.1. Life and Expectations for US Young Women in the Nineties

    6.2. Women’s Fashion in the Nineties

    6.3. Gangs and Cholo/a Style in 20th century Barrios

    6.3.1. The Girls in/around the Gang

    6.4. The Chola Style Politics

    Concluding Remarks

    Works Cited




    Amaia Ibarraran-Bigalondo is a lecturer at the University of the Basque Country, Spain.