“Will the Wolf Survive?”: Punk Rock and Chicana/o Identity in Los Angeles
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This chapter examines the way Chicanos in Los Angeles utilized punk rock to resist assimilation into mainstream, white America at the same that they actively worked to break from their Mexican cultural roots. This chapter argues that the LA punk scene of the 1970s and 1980s was a further example of mestizaje—that is, hybridization as an act of resistance and survival. What resulted was the furthering of a distinctly syncretic Mexican-American identity. Building upon the presence of Chicana/o musicians in LA’s rock scene in the 1950s up through the advent of “Chicano Rock” in the 1960s and 1970s, Chicana/o punk rockers worked to forge a space of their own within their own communities in which “Los Punks” could maintain their cultural identity unsullied from traditional and assimilative forces.