31 halftones, 4 maps

Corridos in Migrant Memory

By Martha I. Chew Sánchez



Corridos are ballads particular to Mexican traditions that are used to analyze or recall a particular political, cultural, and natural event important to the communities where they are performed. As part of the cultural memory, many of the most popular corridos express the immigrant experience: exploitation, surveillance, and dehumanization stemming from racism and classism of the host country. The corrido helps Mexican immigrants in the United States to humanize, dignify, and make sense of their transnational experiences as racial minorities.

Corridos in Migrant Memory examines the role of corridos in shaping the cultural memories and identities of transnational Mexican groups. These narrative songs, dating from the earliest colonial times, recount the historical circumstances surrounding a model protagonist whose history embodies the everyday experiences and values of the community.

The everyday experiences and cultural expressions of Mexican-Americans and Mexican immigrants have not found their way into textbooks in Mexico or in the United States. Martha Chew Sánchez's study provides a foundation upon which to build an understanding of the corrido.

Contributor Bios
Martha I. Chew Sánchez is assistant professor of global studies at St. Lawrence University, Canton, New York.