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Week Thirteen: Immigration and Labor

Page history last edited by mwitgen@... 9 years, 9 months ago



November 25: Latino Immigration and The Zoot Suit Riots




  • Elizabeth Escobedo, The Pachuca Panic: Sexual and Cultural Battlegrounds in World War II Los Angeles, in The Western Historical Quarterly, Vol. 38, No.2, (Summer 2007) (ctools/coursepack).
  • American ExperienceZoot Suit Culture.
    • Click on the image to the right of the text, “open Zoot Suit Culture.” There are two menus, “Music and Dance” and “Fashion.” Browse through these links to images with commentary by scholars and oral histories. Make sure you at least listen to “Pachuco Hop,” “Downtown L.A.,” and “Pachuco Attitude” (Music and Dance), as well as "The Zoot Suit” and “Wearing the Zoot Suit” (Fashion).
  • Los Angeles Times (University login needed: If newspaper links are not working properly, click on "Open in PDF Reader" located to the right of the article title on the following linked pages) 
  • Luisa Moreno, Caravans of Sorrow: Noncitizen Americans of the Southwest (1940). Also available here.


Study Questions 


1. From an Anglo-American perspective what did the Pachuca persona and style represent?  What did this style represent from a Mexican and Mexican American perspective?


2. How did the Pachuca/o challenge ideas about American identity during World War II?


3. How was the controversy over Pachuca style ad persona linked to the changing public role of women during the second World War?


4. According to Escobedo how was the theory of ethnicty and Americanization advanced by Gunnar Myrdal as the solution to American race problem?  How did the Pachuca contradict this idea about the evolution and emergence of an American identity among immigrant populations?


5. What do you make of the different images captured by the FSA's Bracero program and the images depicting the Zoot suiters and Pachuca/o culture at the PBS website?


6. What types of tensions did the Bracero program cause? [This conversation will be revisited and added to in the next class]


7. What history does Moreno want to make sure is taken into account when policymakers consider immigration issues? How did El Congreso del Pueblo de Habla Española (The Spanish-Speaking Peoples Congress) try to bring Spanish speakers together and what types of obstacles would a Pan-Latino organization face? (Keep this last question in mind when reading next week as well).





November 27: Thanksgiving Holiday


No class meeting today.


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