Over the past several decades, Mexican Americans have made an indelible mark on American culture through the music of bands such as Santana and Los Lobos, films such as Zoot Suit, and a wide range of literature, such as Sandra Cisneros’s The House on Mango Street. Now Charles Tatum introduces students to these and other forms of artistic expression in the first volume to provide a wide-ranging overview of Chicano popular culture. Tatum explores the broad and complex arena of popular culture among Americans of Mexican descent and explains what popular culture can tell them about themselves. Reviewing a range of expressive arts, from traditional forms to electronic media, he explains the differences and similarities between Chicano popular culture and that of other ethnic groups or of Anglo society and shows how Chicano arts reflect a people’s traditions and heritage. The book’s coverage focuses on five areas of popular culture. It explores
• Mexican American and Chicano music from the sixteenth century to the present day;
• cinema, focusing on Chicano films of the past three decades;
• newspapers, radio, and television, explaining the interrelationship between these media;
• literature, emphasizing fiction, theater, and poetry of the last thirty years;
• and fiestas, celebrations, and art, including mural and graffiti art. Tatum provides a brief overview of Mexican American social history, paying particular attention to changing cultural perspectives over the past 150 years and the evolution of el movimiento chicano. He also introduces theories of popular culture and makes them accessible to students, enabling them to better understand the material covered in the text. No other book offers such a wide-ranging introduction to these cultural expressions of Mexican Americans today. Chicano Popular Culture invites readers to share the excitement of these vital arts and, through them, to learn more about the uniqueness of America’s fastest-growing minority. Chicano Popular Culture and Mexican Americans and Health are the first volumes in the series The Mexican American Experience, a cluster of modular texts designed to provide greater flexibility in undergraduate education. Each book deals with a single topic concerning the Mexican American population. Instructors can create a semester-length course from any combination of volumes, or may choose to use one or two volumes to complement other texts.