Comparing Jacqueline Martinez's Phenomenology Of Chicana Experience And Identity

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We are introduced with three distinct, but related, modes of ethnic consciousness in In Jacqueline Martinez’s Phenomenology of Chicana Experience & Identity. They are: 1) unknowing-knowing, 2) preknowing-knowing, and 3) knowing-unknown. Understanding each of these three modes is important in our ability to comprehend Martinez’s position (i.e. personal experience) described in chapter three by seeing how assimilation corresponds to each one. Therefore, I will elaborate on each of three modes of ethnic consciousness and draw a comparative relationship between Martine’s three modes of ethnic consciousness and Anzaldua’s conocimiento. The first mode of ethnic consciousness is unknowing-knowing. In the unknowing-knowing mode, the individual is not…show more content…
As stated by Martinez, “If one remains oriented toward cultural ancestry as an unknowing-knowing, the forces of assimilation will continue to wear their way through the very perceptual possibilities of a person’s living world. Over time (generations) any possible knowledge of cultural herniate will be simply lost” (Martinez 2000, 36). In other words, the more you assimilate, the more it wears down on knowledge (which would have been passed on). We can, as an example, clearly see this to be the case with Martinez. She knows that has Mexican-American ancestry from her father’s side, yet this ancestry is hidden from her. Therefore, we can see that under this first mode, knowledge has not been transmitted to future generations (Martinez’s father unknown history) due to assimilation forces (her father has assimilated into the dominant…show more content…
In this last mode, the individual knows for a fact that there is an unknowingness that is linked to oneself and is characterized by the explicit asking of questions. The individual makes explicit the questions of self, family history, and Chicano people history. For instance, in this third mode of consciousness, Martinez begins “with efforts at formal and informal education where [she] began reading about the histories of various sorts of oppression and efforts at liberation” (Martinez 2000, 37). As far as the degree of assimilation encouragement, it is minimum, if any. This is because, in the third mode, Martinez can begin to “speak for [her]self as a Chicana” (Martinez 2000, 37). In other words, assimilation encouragement is minimum because rather than seeking to assimilate within the dominant culture, Martinez (the individual) is able to seek liberation and “engage an effort of recovery where one can begin to imagine a future differently than one had previously” (Martinez 2000,

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