Eva Longoria: A Dual Cultures Icon
In "The Melting Pot Gets Hotter," an article in the May 28, 2006 issue of the Los Angeles Times, Reed Johnson uses Desperate Housewives' Eva Longoria to demonstrate how young Americans are dwelling comfortably in two cultures:
What (Eva) Longoria personifies, on screen and off, is cultural duality, the notion that two different things can share an identity without sacrificing their distinct individual properties ...If Johnson's right, the fire escape's "between cultures" motif might soon become irrelevant and a monocultural existence might characterize the margins of American life instead. Hey! That's good news! Soon, heaps of habaneros will show up in suburban grocery stores throughout the country, keeping many of us from becoming desperate housewives ourselves.
This phenomenon of inhabiting more than one culture simultaneously, without feeling a sense of conflicted loyalties, differs in important ways from Chicanismo, the political-cultural movement that arose among Chicanos (people of Mexican descent born in the United States) in the 1960s. Chicanismo was a survival strategy for members of a minority group struggling to get along in a society that treated them as third-class citizens. By necessity, its supporters felt, Chicanismo often took an aggressive stance of resistance toward mainstream U.S. culture.
The new dualism favors assimilation over resistance. Rather than being grounded in identity politics, it's being fueled by technology and the free flow of goods, ideas and talent across an increasingly open and globalized border. This border is not merely a physical place. It exists on the airwaves and in cyberspace as well, in big urban centers and remote pueblitos.