Culture

Culture is one of the most contested concepts for students and scholars  to  handle,  and  even  more  so when approaching it from a Latina/o studies perspective. The word has different meanings and manifestations whether it is defined in terms of values, objectified in terms of material representations, or equated with “civilization.” Yet when thinking about the concept of culture from a Latina/o perspective, matters of power and hierarchies of value come immediately to the forefront. In particular, a Latina/o studies perspective challenges common assumptions of homogeneity, consensus, authenticity, and ahistoricity that are continuously associated with the term while also foregrounding the political reverberations and deployments of more static definitions of “culture” in  a variety of social movements. In other words, Latina/o studies highlights the concept of culture in some of its most contested deployments and manifestations, first by foregrounding the diversity of culture(s) entailed in the very concept of Latinas/os, …

This essay may be found on page 40 of the printed volume.

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