Friday, October 15, 2010

The article entitled "Latino Cultures, Imperial Sexualities" was interesting in the way that it organizes the different identities that an individual has to juggle. Although the author’s focus was the multiple identities that a queer Latina/o must balance, this automatically reminded me of code-switching or any other form of arranging one’s identity to bring out the component that best suits or gives them privilege in that given situation.

Recently there was an immigration panel at Agnes Scott College about the Dream Act and other factors that affect the situation with immigration. During the discussion, several students in the audience spoke about their experiences growing up as a first generation American in their family. I was reminded of the tactic of code switching, picking up slang from both cultures, or making sure to be “American” enough or being "insert nationality" enough when discussing this article. Switching between the identities of the two cultures, classes or other contrasting social settings is a tool of survival.

Personally, code switching was something that I felt guilty to utilize because of its stigmatized connotation of being "fake" , however I realize that we code-switch or switch identies all the time. It often reminds me of the pharse "There is a time and place for everything." I wouldn't wear a prom dress to go grocery shopping the same way that I would not bring out a certain identity that no one around me can relate to or understand. In the case of the latino guy in the coffee shop who brings out the homonormative, white, upperclass, gay identity and downplays his latino identity, this is a tool used to fit in.

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