Gay community a largely white middle class and male

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Understanding Abnormal Behavior
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Chapter 10 / Exercise 02
Understanding Abnormal Behavior
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gay community-a largely white, middle class, and male form They were relatively better situated than other homosexuals to endure the hazards unleashed by their transgression of gender conventions and traditional heterosexual norms As members of the privileged racial group, these middle-class men and women arguably no longer depended solely on their respective cultural groups and families as a line of defense against the dominant group
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Understanding Abnormal Behavior
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Chapter 10 / Exercise 02
Understanding Abnormal Behavior
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Chicanos, on the other hand, have never occupied the social space where a gay or lesbian identity can readily become a primary basis of self-identity This is due, in part, to their structural position at the subordinate ends of both the class and racial hierarchies, and in a context where ethnicity remains a primary basis of group identity and survival They are not as free as individuals situated elsewhere in the social structure to redefine their sexual identity in ways that contravene the imperatives of minority family life and its traditional gender expectations Cherrie Moraga and Chicana Lesbianism Cherrie Moraga's work is an appreciation of the way Chicano family life severely constrains the Chicana's ability to define her life outside of its stilling gender and sexual prescriptions Chicano family life remains rigidly structured along patriarchal lines that privilege men over women and children Any violation of these norms is undertaken at great personal risk because Chicanos draw upon the family to resist racism and the ravages of class inequality The openly effeminate Chicano gay man's rejection of heterosexuality is typically seen as a fundamental betrayal of Chicano patriarchal cultural norms Those who reject these male prerogatives are viewed as non-men, as the cultural equivalents of women Moraga realized early in life that she would find it virtually impossible to attain any meaningful autonomy in that cultural context It was only in the Anglo world that freedom from oppressive gender and sexual strictures was remotely possible In order to secure this latitude, she made a necessary choice: to embrace the white world and reject crucial aspects of her Chicana upbringing Moraga discovered that being fair-complexioned facilitated her integration into the Anglo social world and contributed immensely to her academic achievement. The price initially exacted by Anglicization was estrangement from family and a partial loss of the nurturing and love she found therein What she gained, on the other hand, was the greater autonomy that her middle-class white classmates had in defining their emergent sexuality and in circumventing burdensome gender prescriptions Her movement into the white world was viewed by Chicanes as a great betrayal She found it impossible to leave behind the Catholic Church's prohibitions regarding homosexuality, and religious themes found their way into how she initially came to define herself as a sexual subject —in a devil-like form

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