On Being a Mexican American: An Autoethnographic Analysis of Identity Construction
This article uses autoethnography to frame a larger conceptual/theoretical discussion of the identity categories based in the intersections of race/ethnicity, nationality, and immigration for the immigrant third generation and beyond, as they negotiate integration with mainstream United States culture and within their families. Drawing on a lifetime of experiences with identity management, the author interrogates dominant theoretical explanations of Mexican assimilation in an attempt to trouble the notion of immigrant generations as monolithic groupings. Particular emphasis is placed on the everyday experiences of Mexican immigrants and their descendants that contribute to Mexican American identity formation. More specifically, the author explores how Mexican Americans experience daily life at home, at work, and in public life, and how these experiences impact their sense of personal identity, their relationships with natives, their interactions with their families and community, and the identity work that goes into producing those categories and social worlds.