Katherine I. Knowles deposited ‘Ni de aqui, ni de alla’: Investigating the impact of documentation on Chicanx youth subcultures on Humanities Commons 1 year, 1 month ago
This dissertation investigates the effect that documentation has on the representation of underrepresented communities, with a focus on Chicanx youth subcultures. It also examines whether self-documentation is the best method for these groups to register their presence in the past and present and to keep a record for the future, as well as to tell their stories in their own ways.
Chicanx youth played a critical, yet under-documented role in the initiation and advancement of the Chicanx Movement of the 1960s. Like their white counterparts, Chicanx youth played a defining role in the protest movements and radicalism that happened across the United States and the world in the ’60s. However, unlike them, little documentation of their efforts and achievements exists in the historical record.
The narrow focus on subcultures aims to highlight the diversity of other cultural identities that exist amongst Chicanx youth beyond the typical (and often negatively portrayed) subcultures normally ascribed to them.
Using a mixed methods approach, the study employed two data collection techniques – interviews and a questionnaire – to gather both rich, detailed information from one-to-one conversations and perspectives from a broad pool of questionnaire respondents. The interviews focused on Chicanx who have participated in subcultures and GLAM sector workers who document or engage with the documentation of either Chicanx or punk subculture. The questionnaire targeted a wider group of archivists and librarians.
The findings demonstrate the importance that documentation can have on empowering and creating visibility for Chicanx youth subcultures to have control over their own histories and develop a sense of belonging and collective memory. Furthermore, self-documentation through community archives or forms of participatory archiving was acknowledged to be critical in documenting groups who have been historically erased from the record.