chapter  9
23 Pages

Resisting Assimilation: Mexican Immigrant Mothers Writing Together

Myths of assimilation-from early 20th century myths of the melting pot (incorporation)

to more recent myths of multiculturalism (pluralism)—are among the official interpretive

devices of contemporary U.S. culture.2 Like other comparable devices, these myths

inscribe imaginary paths upon a dominant social landscape that promise the follower of

those paths a visible and meaningful place within the landscape, while justifying the

exclusion of those not willing (or able) to follow the prescribed paths. Myths of

assimilation have immigrants as their objects, and the paths these myths inscribe are

paved with the promises of opportunity, education, prosperity, security and a recognized

ethnic identity for immigrants and their children.