Presentation Title

Protectionist to Collectivist Familia Structures: Reimagining Chicano Barrio Masculinity in La Mission

Presenter Information

Angelica PeñaFollow

Faculty Mentor

Michelle Holling

Start Date

23-11-2019 1:30 PM

End Date

23-11-2019 1:45 PM

Location

Markstein 211

Session

oral 3

Type of Presentation

Oral Talk

Subject Area

behavioral_social_sciences

Abstract

In reaction to the oppressive forces of U.S. forced assimilation, xenophobia, and discrimination, Mexican-American people, historically and contemporarily, have relied upon a commitment to and defense of one’s family as a method to protect and maintain their wellbeing, status, and pride. Media representations of Chican@s and familia(l) values are offered to combat marginalization and center familia as integral to the Chican@ identity. La Mission’s (Bratt, Bratt, & Bratt, 2009) novel, intersectional representation of queer Chicano masculinity within a traditional, patriarchal familia and the paucity of films and scholarly work that focuses on this theme indicates a topic deserving of more scholarly attention. I argue that, in the film, the familia(l) conflicts that arise after Che, the protagonist, finds out his son is gay, problematize the familia narrative by exposing how some masculinities oppose the nurturing elements that familiapurports to provide. Using the concept of “erasure of familia” (Rodriguez, 2003), I analyze how the characters of La Mission (2010) serve as symbols that clash, bind, and amplify one another in order to filmically articulate how different masculinities grow, mold, or tarnish familia structures. By examining the male characters’ embodiments of masculinity, the film interrogates a barrio hypermasculinity often observable in urban Chicano communities. Aggravated and challenged by a queer Chicano masculinity, the patriarchal and self-destructive effects of barrio hypermasculinity on familia are exposed which ultimately pressures for a reimagination of familia and opens a dialogue and critique about Chican@ masculinities characterized by violence and misplaced protectionism.

Keywords: familia, Chicano masculinity, queer, barrio, hypermasculinity

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Nov 23rd, 1:30 PM Nov 23rd, 1:45 PM

Protectionist to Collectivist Familia Structures: Reimagining Chicano Barrio Masculinity in La Mission

Markstein 211

In reaction to the oppressive forces of U.S. forced assimilation, xenophobia, and discrimination, Mexican-American people, historically and contemporarily, have relied upon a commitment to and defense of one’s family as a method to protect and maintain their wellbeing, status, and pride. Media representations of Chican@s and familia(l) values are offered to combat marginalization and center familia as integral to the Chican@ identity. La Mission’s (Bratt, Bratt, & Bratt, 2009) novel, intersectional representation of queer Chicano masculinity within a traditional, patriarchal familia and the paucity of films and scholarly work that focuses on this theme indicates a topic deserving of more scholarly attention. I argue that, in the film, the familia(l) conflicts that arise after Che, the protagonist, finds out his son is gay, problematize the familia narrative by exposing how some masculinities oppose the nurturing elements that familiapurports to provide. Using the concept of “erasure of familia” (Rodriguez, 2003), I analyze how the characters of La Mission (2010) serve as symbols that clash, bind, and amplify one another in order to filmically articulate how different masculinities grow, mold, or tarnish familia structures. By examining the male characters’ embodiments of masculinity, the film interrogates a barrio hypermasculinity often observable in urban Chicano communities. Aggravated and challenged by a queer Chicano masculinity, the patriarchal and self-destructive effects of barrio hypermasculinity on familia are exposed which ultimately pressures for a reimagination of familia and opens a dialogue and critique about Chican@ masculinities characterized by violence and misplaced protectionism.

Keywords: familia, Chicano masculinity, queer, barrio, hypermasculinity