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Code-switching in Chicano Theater

Power, Identity and Style in Three Plays by Cherríe Moraga

Code-switching in Chicano Theater Power, Identity and Style in Three Plays by Cherríe Moraga
9173058378
284 pages
2005

By Carla Jonsson

SEK 409

"I still say que los chiles no saben buenos aquí. I think it's the smog" (from the play Shadow of a Man by Cherríe Moraga)

Code-switching and code-mixing are common linguistic strategies used by bilinguals and multilinguals all over the world. This study explores functions of code-switching and code-mixing in three works by the Chicana playwright Cherríe Moraga. The findings reveal that the phenomenon of code-switching fulfils contextual and stylistic functions in the plays. For example, it is used to add emphasis, to introduce another level of meaning, to make and to break bonds, to include and to exclude. The study also demonstrates that code-switching and code-mixing can be used as a means of reflecting, constructing and reconstructing a third space Chicano identity. In addition, code-switching and code-mixing serve as creative responses to domination in that they can be used to resist, challenge and transform power relations. Such responses are evident in the plays examined here, elucidating aspects of identity construction and power relations in the present-day United States.