Female subjectivity and agency in popular Mexican corridos (Ballads): an examiniation of images and representations of soldaderas (female soldiers) in the Mexican Revolution 1910-1920
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The purpose of the study is to examine the paradox of female subjection and agency in the images and representations of women in Mexican popular culture. This study proposes to explore the " intersectionality" (Collins 1998) of gender, race, and class in female subjectivity and agency, during the Mexican culture of the Revolution of 1910- 1920, as depicted in the images and representations of soldaderas (females soldiers and/or female camp followers) in popular corridos (Mexican ballads/folksongs). Five research questions are addressed by the study: 1) How has the image of the soldadera in popular culture affected the author's experience and identity as a Mexican American/Chicana? 2) What do the historical recollections/memoirs reveal about soldaderas? 3) How are soldaderas portrayed in popular corridos? 4) What are the differences between the representations of soldaderas in popular culture (corridos) and their depictions in post/colonial/high culture (memoirs)? and 5) How does the corrido reflect the Mestizo/a culture? Following the lead of Patricia Hill Collins (1998), I have engaged in critical, Mestiza discourse, which acknowledges the intersection of ethnicity/nationality/race, class, and gender. A discourse has been created through the use of situated knowledge. Published memoirs represents legitimate knowledge; corridos as oral traditions constitute informed and neglected sources of history. and the use of my autobiography provides an insider/outsider gendered narrative space where I have negotiated dominant and subversive forms of knowledge. By comparing and contrasting published memoirs to corridos and by intersecting my own narrative with the corridos, a postmodern critical race discourse is brought to fruition.