Ends of Assimilation examines how Chicano literature imagines the conditions and costs of cultural change, arguing that its thematic preoccupation with assimilation illuminates the function of literature. John Alba Cutler shows how mid-century sociologists advanced a model of assimilation that ignored the interlinking of race, gender, and sexuality and characterized American culture as homogeneous, stable, and exceptional. He demonstrates how Chicano literary works from the postwar period to the present understand culture as dynamic and self-consciously promote literature as a medium for influencing the direction of cultural change. With original analyses of works by canonical and noncanonical writers--from Américo Paredes, Sandra Cisneros, and Jimmy Santiago Baca to Estela Portillo Trambley, Alfredo Véa, and Patricia Santana--Ends of Assimilation demands that we reevaluate assimilation, literature, and the very language we use to talk about culture.
About the author
John Alba Cutler is Assistant Professor of English at Northwestern University.
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