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The Racial Formation of Mexican American during World War II

2020-10-22 来源: 51Due教员组 类别: Essay范文

     下面为大家整理一篇优秀的essay代写范文 --The Racial Formation of Mexican American during World War II,文章讲述种族形成是特定历史时期的种族范畴和意识形态体系。从这个角度来看,种族不是一个既定不变的实体,而是一种受政治、经济和意识形态影响的社会建构的身份。一套种族的意识形态和实践逐渐被社会力量建构,并被社会制度制度化和合法化。此外,种族形成往往与性别形成或阶级形成交叉。在特定时期,面对相似的政治、经济、意识形态,性别、阶级、种族可能相互作用、相互影响,受到相同的社会力量的影响。这里我将以二战期间的墨西哥裔美国人为例,研究他们在特定时期是如何“成为”美国人的,这种意识形态是如何被接受的,以及这个过程如何涉及到性别的形成。

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Racial Formation is the system of racial categories and ideologies in a specific historical period. In this perspective, race is not a given and unchanged entity, but a socially constructed identity influence by political, economic and ideological patterns. A set of ideology and practice of race is gradually constructed by social forces and institutionalized and legitimated by social institutions. Besides, the racial formation tends to be intersected with the gender formation or class formation. Faced with the similar political, economic and ideological patterns in a specific period, gender, class or race may interact with each other, influence each other and be influenced by the same social powers. Here I will show the case of Mexican American during War World II and investigate how they “became” American in a specific period and how this ideology was accepted, and also how this process involved gender formation.

During World War II, the racial formation of Mexican American made them identify themselves as American rather than Mexican. The war stimulated an overwhelming nationalism, and precipitated the process of their becoming American citizens. The nationalism during the war dominated the ideology in Mexican group, and provoked the ethnic group to fight for the America. A Mexican at that time said: “all of us had to prove ourselves—to show that we were more American than the Anglos (477).” Some Mexican even claimed that “we wanted to prove that while our cultural ties were deeply rooted in Mexico, our home was here in this country (477).” It vividly shows how they viewed their identity in America and how they felt about their obligation in this period. At that time, there were also slogans like “Americans All” and “All around us” (477) which stressed the identity of American and emphasized the ideology that the Mexican was a member of American society.

The racial formation of Mexican American involves two aspects, the overseas one and the domestic one. In overseas war field, the Mexican became good solders to fight for their “home”. 2690000 Mexican were enlisted in the army force, and they also behaved well. They fought with the enemy bravely and many of them received awards. The casualty of Mexican was also tremendous, which indicated that Mexican risked their lives to protect the “home”. In the wartime, “nation” became a shared value for the Mexican and in their minds this value must be fought for desperately. The nationalism ideology in this period “interpellated” them to place American identity over Mexican identity. They were no longer “pure Mexican” but incorporated into the American society.  

At home, the Mexican American also stressed their Americanness. They worked hard for agriculture industry and defense industry. For example, “twelve thousand Mexicans were employed by Douglas Aircraft in Southern California” as reported (481). And their devotion to the nation and their hard work were well acknowledged. They went through the same process of becoming American by putting their American identity over Mexican identity. It’s also worth noting that gender formation is also involved in the home front. Mexican American women not only became patriotic American but also became “hard work American women”. In this period, Mexican women were no longer housewives but turned into worker to support the nation. Some of them said that “prior to the war, we were young women with few social and job skills… By the end of the war, we had been transformed into young, mature women with new job skills, self-confidence, and a sense of worth (483).” The tradition patriarchy was temporarily broken because of the warfare, and nationalism outweighed race as well as gender in their case.

The case of Mexican American demonstrates how race condition is constructed by specific social contexts. In this period, “Mexican” in America was no longer separate ethnic group trapped in the barrio, but a racial category that have proved their qualification as American citizen. The nationalism ideology and the warfare shape the very racial formation at that time, and this formation was greatly accepted by Mexican themselves and by the white. New racial formation was made in this way.


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