Art and the expression of complex identities
  • ISSN 1018-2101
  • E-ISSN: 2406-4238


are presented as a distinct subgroup of Mexican ‘peasants’ who enact a liberal individualist ideology that centrally values private property, especially land, and hard work as the legitimate route to ‘progress’. Both male and female are tough and independent “ranch” people who construct their identities in contrast to ‘Indians’ on the one hand (whom view as communally-oriented), and ‘city people’ (whom see as fancily-dressed, and acting, “dandies”) on the other. A history of frontier isolation and mobility in society’ facilitated the development of both autonomy and strong ties of reciprocity for mutual support in hostile conditions, as well as common ways of living, dressing, and speaking. This valuing of both autonomy and affiliation undermines the often-invoked dichotomy between “Mexicans” and “North Americans” as being communal, or group-oriented, and individualistic, or self-oriented, respectively. Rather than predominantly one or the other, value both autonomy and affiliation. This historically constructed identity is enacted in a particular way of speaking, ‘frankness’, direct, straightforward, candid language that goes directly to a point. Informal verbal performances by members of these families within their homes, both in Chicago and Mexico, are analyzed for their construction of identity through .


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): franqueza; identity; Mexican; transnational; verbal performance; way of speaking
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