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Before ChicanoCitizenship and the Making of Mexican American Manhood, 1848-1959$
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Alberto Varon

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781479863969

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479863969.001.0001

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Outlaw Citizenship

Outlaw Citizenship

Mexican American Manhood and Banditry

(p.29) 1 Outlaw Citizenship
Before Chicano

Alberto Varon

NYU Press

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.

Keywords:   Bandit, Citizenship, Juan Nepomuceno Cortina, Catarino Garza, Manuel Cabeza de Baca, Vicente Silva, New Mexico

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