The Transnational Tensions in Latinidad
In this chapter I propose the theoretical frameworks for the book. I trace the semantic shifts of the critical concept of Latinidad/es, highlighting its gradual transformation from a noun to a verb, from description to action. This genealogy suggests that “Latinidad/es” has been rewritten as a central signifier for political action and resistance. In addition, the chapter proposes the concept of “horizontal hierarchies” as a critical tool that allows us to identify and examine the power differentials among the various Latino nationalities and ethnicities in the United States. Referring to various interventions by Latino/a scholars and writers, the term “horizontal hierarchies” elucidates not only the shifting visibility of each national community politically and culturally, but also the contradictions and the relational and situational texture that inform these hierarchies.
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