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Chicano Movement

Problems And Achievements

As the events of the 1960s and 1970s unfolded, a presently unmeasurable element impacted political development, organization, and leadership. Police surveillance presumably occurred throughout the Southwest among Chicana/o efforts. Targets were determined, strategies devised, and tactics conducted to weaken militancy and political organizations of all types. This covert procedure was concurrent with the more visible and understood overt activities of incitements, arrests, and beatings. Police provocation to commit violent acts and, more frequently, display counterproductive behavior, was a fact. This of course led to dissension within or between groups, as well as among individuals. Police control remained constant throughout the 1970s, perhaps negatively affecting achievements.

By stressing self-determination, pride, and even aggression, the spokespersons of the Chicana/o movement achieved reasonable successes during the 1960s and 1970s: they made the larger social majority acknowledge the discrepancy between the democratic stance professed by the state and the reality in the barrios. Moreover, leaders undertook the strong actions needed to enable the more moderate elements to enter governmental, academic, and labor institutions. Significantly, several movement thrusts continued: unionization, Chicano studies, civil rights litigation, and immigrant rights are some examples.

Clear limitations stand out when reviewing the accomplishments of the movement. Token reforms, limited representation, and personal mobility were often achieved. But Chicano self-determination, though espoused, was not accomplished. The problems confronting the movement were several: the lack of a coherent, broad, radical program for a convinced constituency; a lack of adequate material resources; and a lack of structured disciplined organizations with stable leadership mechanisms.

Additional topics

Science EncyclopediaScience & Philosophy: Categorical judgement to ChimaeraChicano Movement - Contents, Cultural Context, Ideology, Gender, Universalism, Problems And Achievements, Conclusion, Bibliography