Skalifornia: identity resistance and empowerment in the Chicana/o Latina/o Ska(core) music scene in Los Angeles




Serrano, Crystal E.

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The purpose of this case study is to examine the ways in which Ska music has influenced and shaped the identity of youth of Mexican descent in Los Angeles, California. It is framed within the socio-cultural, historical, and political forces that have affected, and in many ways, influenced the complex relationships between Chicana/o and Mexican youth. I analyze the ways in which Latina/o Ska subcultures carve out a space to gather amidst differences and explore how they mediate/negotiate tensions. Adding to this understanding of how the Ska subculture came about, and its significance within the metropolitan city of Los Angeles, the literature review frames the impact of popular culture on youth of color. It provides an analysis of the ways marginalized communities can actively resist, deconstruct, and challenge dominant ideologies by recreating culture. Using Chicana feminist theory, this research analyzes intersections of race, class, gender, and sexuality, and provides a framework to critique the limitations of Ska music, as a hetero-male dominated scene. Through sample surveys, unofficial accounts of history, song analysis, and interviews, one is offered a glimpse into a subculture ripe with unique narratives and experiences.


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Communication and the arts, Culture, Identity, Language, Los Angeles, Music, Ska



Bicultural-Bilingual Studies