The Pachuco from Mexico to United States

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In the 1940's the pachuco subculture emerged within the urban youths of Mexicans and Mexican-Americans. These pachucos were deterritorialized from Mexico and the United States. While the United States wasn't fully assimilating the pachuco subculture, Mexico was trying to distance themselves from the subculture. This formation of the cross-border subculture helped create the pachuco as a manner and persona. The pachuco was also known to many on both sides of the border due to Mexican comedian and film actor Germán Valdéz who created played a pachuco character Tin Tan in films.
I will analyze Javier Durán’s “Nation and Translation: The “Pachuco” in Mexican Popular Culture: Germán Valdéz’s Tin Tan” which was published by The Journal of the Midwest Modern Language Association in 2002. The article is about the pachuco's growth as a subculture. Durán examines how pachucos created an identity for themselves and a spot in society, here he first talks about the becoming the pachuco:
“The pachuco’s strategies of survival – appropriation, transgression, reassemblage, breaking, and restructuring the laws of language with caló and pochismos - are reflected in the codified language of the body (hair style, tattooing, dress, gestures, and dance) and in the equally codified language of space (marking territories with graffiti in the city, the barrio, and the street)... all are exaggerated to such a degree that they become an exercise in mimicry…In the case of the pachuco, the camouflage and mimicry make him visible, give him a location in (and out of) culture” (Durán 42-43).
What I understood from this section of Durán's article is that in order for the pachuco to survive, there are specific obstacles that need to be followed. Accordin...

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...founder of the pachuco subculture (Germán Valdéz’s Tin Tan), spread across borders. Although never particularly accepted in Mexico or United States, the pachuco did create an identity and a spot in society. I argue that this cross-border subculture, which was not particularly accepted, would not be a unique phenomenon if it were accepted. There had to be something that was diverse and against the norm for the “camouflage and mimicry [to] make him visible, give him a location in (and out of) culture” (Durán 43). The pachuco was known but never fully understood by others but that is how cultures are introduced until either it assimilates or not.

Works Cited

Durán, Javier. “Nation and Translation: The “Pachuco” in Mexican Popular Culture: Germán Valdéz’s Tin Tan.” The Journal of the Midwest Modern Language Association 35.2 (2002): 41-49. JSTOR. Web. 25 March 2014.

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