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Formation and Reflection of Identity in U.S. Born Central American and Mexican Book Artists and Poets Open Access

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The difficulties to assimilate within any country when one’s parents are from another country has its own set of obstacles, especially within second-generation U.S. born Central Americans, or Mexicans. Second-generation children are constantly situated within positions to assimilate into U.S. culture, presented with stereotypical images of Latin-American figures like the Cholo, Spitfire or the unwanted illegal immigrant, have familial expectations to be a part of the “American Dream,” but still keep true to their ancestral roots. The struggle to completely assimilate into U.S. American society without losing one's cultural identity is a strong influence for the works of poets and book artists, and is reflected within the artist’s own internal conflicts in struggling to unite their cultural heredity with their new U.S. American culture. This paper will explore the work of LatinAmerican, U.S.-born book artists and poets and argue how their artwork has been impacted by their struggles to merge their cultural heritage and their present culture. This paper will also examine and highlight how social conflicts within both cultures augment further struggles within the formation of identity.

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