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Critical Dialogues in Latinx StudiesA Reader$
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Ana Y. Ramos-Zayas and Mérida M. Rúa

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9781479805198

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: January 2022

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479805198.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM NYU Press SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.nyu.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of NYU Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NYSO for personal use.date: 27 June 2022

Racialized Hauntings of the Devalued Dead

Racialized Hauntings of the Devalued Dead

(p.307) 23 Racialized Hauntings of the Devalued Dead
Critical Dialogues in Latinx Studies

Lisa Marie Cacho

NYU Press

This chapter provides a detailed case study of the structural conditions that position Latino men to die too young in relation to the narratives that cannot ascribe value to their lives or deaths. Because the criminalization of racialized masculinity works in part through devaluing gender and sexual non-normativity, it is difficult to represent certain youth as socially valuable because they cannot be recuperated through capitalist and heteronormative narratives that idealize gendered roles, such as the breadwinning father. Hence, both dominant and resistant narratives can make it difficult to ascribe social value to “socially deviant” Latino men who die early deaths because there is a pressure to ground scholarship in the politics of respectability to prove that youth of color “deserve” sympathy, rights, and second chances. Yet ascribing social value within a US value system runs the risk of reinforcing the very norms and values that discipline such youth when they were alive. Alternatively, turning to the words they leave behind can provide us with a different way to talk about youth of color who follow paths not prescribed by capital accumulation and heteronormativity.

Keywords:   deviancy, racialized masculinity, value, criminalization, Latino men, gender and sexual non-normativity

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