Mexican American Manhood and Banditry
This chapter analyses perhaps the most prevalent figure associated with Mexican American manhood, the bandit. This chapter argues that, in contrast to most understandings of the bandit as an anti-U.S. criminal, Mexican American bandits developed cultural values that allowed Mexican Americans to incorporate into the U.S. nation. This chapter proposes the bandit as a figure that “cleaves” Mexican Americans to citizenship, playing on the contradictory meanings of the term cleave to both sever and adhere. Cleaving then becomes a way of conceptualizing the relationship between Mexican American manhood and citizenship throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
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