Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Defiant Performance

      Julie Bettie's How Working-Class Chicas Get Working-Class Lives puts into personal detail the complexity of social structures and how economic standing is a major factor. Several young women (mostly Hispanic) were interviewed on what their future goals and aspirations were. The results were non-conforming. The view of adult-hood to the young women did not contain financial and societal success, but rather parenting gained respect. "For them, expressions of sexuality, and by an extension motherhood, operated as a sign of adult status and served to reject teachers' and parents' methods of keeping them childlike" (Bettie, 449).
      The white structure of our society deconstructs the idea of adulthood and replaces it with white, economical, social success and behavior. Those who do not fit into the category of 'prep' are subjected to oppression. By regularly expressing interest in things such as the application of make-up, clothing, and early parenthood as more important than educational achievement, the young women that were interviewed (and those similar from all around the nation) are exposed to negative treatment; there is a very sharp slope in differences between the working class and the middle class that creates additional tension. Bettie points out that these girls, Las Chicas, defiantly work against the norms of society, and I cannot blame them. Society has made it out that the young women Bettie interviewed are limited by the standards predetermined by others. Their lives are a struggle, but they beautifully work around that struggle by focusing on what they deem is adult-like and important.

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