Street Baptism, Machismo and Inner-City Street Culture: Purity and Danger among Contemporary Chicano Gangs in Los Angeles
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Humanities -- Research -- Periodicals.
Social sciences -- Research -- Periodicals.
Although I myself am puzzled as to how my relatively sheltered, thoroughly middle-class, suburban upbringing fostered a passion for urban culture, I am nonetheless intrigued by all aspects of street life. My scholarly interest in urban culture began last year when I chose to study aerosol art (graffiti) for my International Scholars Program research project. I analyzed how aerosol art was used a device of postcolonialism— how, in New York City’s subways in the 1970s and 80s, these largely oppressed, lower-class minority youth used their available resources to develop a sense of voice, empowerment, and influence. I quickly became entrenched in the concept of the street, whether in terms of ritual and religion, systems of power, or relationship to mainstream American society. This paper was created for George Baca’s fall 2007 “Anthropology 234: Religion, Myth, and Symbol” class.