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Homelessness Identity in Jimmy Santiago Baca's poetry: A Textual Analysis Study


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Abstract This thesis tries to prove that identity is not an accomplished fact. It is an ever developing and evolving concept. The thesis begins with the construction of the varied and interacted definitions of identity. Then it portrays the identity of immigrants in the United States of America specially Mexican immigrants through their cultural encounter with the new society. It gives a brief history of them and highlights the factors that force them to leave their homes to inhabit new society. The thesis attempts to answer these questions: Are Mexicans considered as a minority or not? How do they perceive themselves and the others? It is an attempt to give a new interpretation to one of the most famous Mexican immigrant poets, Jimmy Santiago Baca. The thesis portrays the journey that Baca, as an ex prisoner, makes until he finds the answers about himself and the others. In his poetic volumes, he raises many questions such as: how Mexican identity is formulated and where do they belong? Are they Mexicans, Americans, in between or both? He does not only try to remind Mexicans about their original identities and how they become different when they immigrated to a different society like the United States of America, but he also tries to help the new generations who grow up in this different country to understand who they really are. Thus, a generation becomes unconsciously trapped between two different cultures with two different motherlands.
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Steven Vertovec is Research Reader in Social Anthropology at the University of Oxford and Director of the ESRC Research Programme in Transnational Communities. He is the editor or co-editor of seven volumes, including Aspects of the South Asian Diaspora (Oxford UP—New Delhi) and the author of Hindu Trinidad: Religion, Ethnicity and Socio-Economic Change (Macmillan, 1992), and Divergent Diaspora: Hindus and Hinduism outside India (University College of London Press, forthcoming). 1. Including Armstrong; Clifford; Cohen, "Rethinking" and Global Diasporas; Safran; Sheffer, "New Field," "Emergence." 2. See especially Tinker, Banyan, New System, Separate, as well as Ballard, Desk Pardesh; Clarke, Peach, and Vertovec, South Asians Overseas; Kondapi; van der Veer, Nation and Migration; Vertovec, "Inventing." 3. See especially Appadurai, "Global Ethnoscapes"; Clifford; Glick Schiller et al., Toward; Hannerz, Transnational; Kearney. 4. See Ballard, Desh Pardesh; Bharati; Burghart; Jayawardena, "Culture"; Morris; Schwartz; van der Veer, Nation and Migration, "Authenticity"; Vertovec, "Inventing," "Community," Hindu Trinidad, "Official," "On the Reproduction." 5. See Ballard, "Introduction"; G. Baumann; Drury; Jackson and Nesbitt; Knott and Khokher; Vertovec and Rogers.
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