Domestic Disturbances: Re-Imagining Narratives of Gender, by Irene Mata

By Irene Mata

The factor of immigration is likely one of the so much hotly debated subject matters within the nationwide area, with everybody from right-wing pundits like Sarah Palin to substitute rockers like Zack de l. a. Rocha supplying their opinion. the conventional immigrant narrative that received reputation within the 19th and 20th centuries is still used this present day in describing the method of the "Americanization" of immigrants. but instead of performing as a correct illustration of immigrant reviews, this universal narrative of the "American Dream" makes an attempt to ideologically include these reports inside a narrative line that promotes the belief of attaining luck via labor and perseverance.

In Domestic Disturbances, Irene Mata dispels the parable of the "shining urban at the hill" and divulges the principal fact of hidden exploitation that underlies the good majority of Chicana/Latina immigrant tales. stimulated by way of the works of Latina cultural manufacturers and the starting to be interdisciplinary box of scholarship on gender, immigration, and hard work, Domestic Disturbances indicates a brand new framework for those immigrant and migrant tales, now not as a continuation of a literary culture, yet in its place as a selected Latina family tree of immigrant narratives that extra heavily interact with the modern stipulations of immigration. via exam of a number of genres together with movie, theatre, and artwork, in addition to present civil rights pursuits resembling the mobilization round the DREAM Act, Mata illustrates the superiority of the immigrant narrative in pop culture and the oppositional probabilities of substitute stories.

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Extra info for Domestic Disturbances: Re-Imagining Narratives of Gender, Labor, and Immigration

Example text

I read José Antonio Villarreal’s Pocho (1959) as an example of a classic Chicano text that closely follows the organizational logic of the traditional, canonical narrative of immigration, a narrative that was cinematically represented and reproduced almost fifty years later by James L. Brooks’ Spanglish (2004). Although the novel closely follows the more masculinist structure of the bildungsroman while the film deploys a woman as its protagonist, there are some very basic similarities between the two cultural productions, including a strong emphasis on the United States as the ideological “promised land” and on the role of education in assimilating immigrants.

Mexico border is found in Gregory Nava’s 1980 film El Norte. In the critically acclaimed film, Nava provides a horrific visual representation of economic and military enclosures that prompt the migration of brother and sister Enrique and Rosa Xuncax from Guatemala. 20 While not all contemporary immigrant stories so clearly illustrate the reasons for emigration, an important aspect of oppositional narratives is their representation of the conditions under globalization that act as the impetus for emigration.

What follows is a reading of two texts that share 31 « domestic disturbances a narrative structure that comfortably follows the organizing logic of the traditional immigrant story. While the productions focus on protagonists of color, their duplication of the immigrant paradigm perpetuates the myth of white American exceptionalism ushered in by Winthrop’s words almost four centuries ago. A Literary Precursor America is God’s Crucible, the great Melting-Pot where all races of Europe are melting and re-forming!

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