Patrolling Borders: Hybrids, Hierarchies and the Challenge of Mestizaje

Posted in Articles, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United States on 2010-01-23 19:32Z by Steven

Patrolling Borders: Hybrids, Hierarchies and the Challenge of Mestizaje

Political Research Quarterly
Vol. 57, No. 4
pages 597-607
DOI: 10.1177/106591290405700408

Cristina Beltran, Associate Professor of Political Science
Haverford College

Hybridity” has become a popular concept among scholars of critical race theory and identity, particularly those studying Chicano identity. Some scholars claim that hybridity—premised on multiplicity and fluidity—represents a new approach to subjectivity, challenging the idea of a stable and unified subject. In “Patrolling Borders,” I argue that scholars are mistaken in their belief that “hybrid” or “bordered” identities are inherently transgressive or antiessentialist. By constructing a genealogy of Chicano hybridity (i.e., mestizaje) I show how Chicano nationalists produced a politicized subjectivity during the Chicano Movement that emerged as the basis for recent notions of hybridity put forward by writers like Gloria Anzaldúa. By tracing the historical construction of mestizaje, I show how hybridity continues to be a discursive practice capable of comfortably coexisting with dreams of privileged knowledge, order, and wholeness.

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