Academic journal article Social Justice

Editors' Introduction: New Dimensions in the Scholarship and Practice of Mexican and Chicano Social Movements

Academic journal article Social Justice

Editors' Introduction: New Dimensions in the Scholarship and Practice of Mexican and Chicano Social Movements

Article excerpt

HIS SPECIAL ISSUE OF SOCIAL JUSTICE BRINGS TOGETHER THE WORK OF SCHOLARS and activists from Mexico and the United States, representing a variety of disciplines and movements, to discuss current trends in the scholarship and practices of Mexican and Chicanx (1) social movements. The idea to organize a forum to share and critically assess new developments in the social movements of "Greater Mexico" came to the editors in the summer of 2010. Maylei Blackwell, Ed McCaughan, and Devra Weber crossed paths in Oaxaca, Mexico, that summer. Blackwell was helping to lead a workshop on issues of gender and sexuality with an indigenous community affiliated with the Frente Indigena de Organizaciones Binacionales. McCaughan was there completing his manuscript on art and Mexican/ Chicanx social movements, and Weber had been invited to present her research on the Partido Liberal Mexicano for a symposium commemorating the centennial of the Mexican Revolution. As we shared our work and observations about significant political and cultural developments in the social activism of Mexican communities on both sides of the border, we felt compelled to organize a forum in which activists and scholars could reflect on these changes.

A great deal has changed--economically, politically, culturally, and intellectually--in the decades since the watershed 1968 Mexican student movement, the historic Chicanx mobilizations of the 1960s and 1970s, and the internationally celebrated EZLN uprising of 1994. Moreover, 25 years have passed since publication of the last English-language anthology to bring together research on a wide variety of Mexican social movements (Foweraker and Craig 1990). In the meantime, the shift away from liberal and nationalist Keynesianism to neoliberal economic policy has been consolidated in Mexico and the United States. While Mexico witnessed a promise of democratization and the end of one party rule, many social sectors have been disappointed by continued corruption, blocked channels to full democratic participation, and the criminalization of protest, along with increased violence and militarization of the drug war. At the same time, new social movements of indigenous peoples, youth, women, lesbian, gay, and transgender people have gained new ground in the Mexican social, political, and cultural landscape like no other time in history.

In the United States, sustained mass movements have declined in the "post-civil rights" era, even as people of color, feminists, and queer communities experience a fierce backlash in many regions and sectors of the population against earlier gains. Advances such as the legalization of same-sex marriage are clouded by the fear that state incorporation of some forms of difference come hand-in-hand with the repudiation of many others, leading many to suspect these gains are part of a neoliberal incorporation or management of difference (Malamed 2011). We see these moves with the limited acceptance of undocumented youth as DREAMers, while the US government staunchly rejects their parents or other members of undocumented migrant communities. Now this troubling neoliberal cultural logic incorporates difference by creating new, acceptable normativities. Homonormativity, for example, is a concept that explains how the co-opting of the most elite and privileged among the LGBT movement is used to regulate those who the state deems "bad subjects" (Hale 2002). Further, this invokes the need to engage in multi-issue organizing and analysis, as well as to engaged in cross-sector and cross-movement work to challenge the neoliberal logic of uneven incorporation that subverts gender rights, regulates indigenous rights, or uses the normative gay or lesbian subject to regulate transgender or queer immigrants (Blackwell 2012; de la maza perez 2012).

Yet, the 2006 mega-marches for immigrant rights were the largest mass mobilizations in the recorded history of California, raising new questions about political inclusion, inequality, and the rise of migrant civil society. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.