The nativist Aztlán: Fantasies and anxieties of whiteness on the border

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5 Scopus citations


In the late 1960s, the concept of Aztlán became a powerful, temporarily unifying force within the Chicano movement. Chicano nationalists articulated a lineage to the indigenous Aztecs and contended that the Aztec ancestral homeland was located in the US Southwest. This deployment of Aztlán contested central US narratives of white supremacy. Over the past 30 years, Aztlán has increasingly become a fixture within contemporary nativist discourse. Conservative cultural workers have redeployed Aztlán to depict a cultural, racial and geopolitical invasion. This article contends that the nativist Aztlán emerges out of the political exigencies of an era marked by heightened globalization and multicultural gains. Moreover, this article examines how Aztlán, once used to contest white supremacy, has been reconfigured to forge white solidarity through the guise of white victimhood.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)290-313
Number of pages24
JournalLatino Studies
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2012


  • Aztlán
  • Chicano movement rhetoric
  • immigration
  • nationalism
  • nativism
  • whiteness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • History
  • Sociology and Political Science


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