Article Analysis Essay on Power of the Zoot

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  4
Wordcount:  888 Words
Date:  2022-05-22

Introduction

In the publication 'Power of the Zoot,' the author talks about the culture of the youth and their efforts of resistance in the course of the Second World War. A Zoot is the suit of a gentleman that is characterized with tightly cuffed, baggy, high-waisted pants and an oversized coat with exaggeratedly wide, padded shoulders and broad lapels, many a time put on with suspenders and an extended watch chain. The Zoot Suit was initially popularized at the beginning of the 1940s. At the time when the Second World War was being fought, it was evident that a lot of young people; especially African American and Mexican Americans; along with a multitude of white and Nisei (Japanese), made use of popular culture to oppose expectations and normative social constructs from within their communities.

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In many ways than one the author of The Power of the Zoot: Youth Culture and Resistance during World War, Luis Alvarez "looks at the several meanings and massive attractiveness of zoot suit way of life in the course of World War II. As a very well-acclaimed cultural phenomenon that captured the attention of much of the United States home front, the zoot plays the role of a platform upon which social reformers, urban authorities, older generations of Americans, the media, and zoot suiters on their own carefully thought about what practices and what types of persons were deemed as truly American (Alvarez 2).

When it comes to looking at the Zoot suit with a racial lens, it is evident that at a point in time when a lot of Americans heeded for appeals for unity and conformity in time of war as the main approach to realizing financial success, more meaningful political representation, and social mobility, zoot suiters many a time highlighted their sexual category and race and their cultural differences from the rest of the society in the United States4. For example when it comes to matters revolving around gender the gendered, multiracial, and transgressional nature of the zoot passed a strong message that Zoot suiters were part and parcel of a much bigger network of wartime popular cultural consumption and production, political struggles, and social relationships. Many a time when the Zoot suit culture is being referenced the work of artists such as Gary Gerstle is used as an example (Alvarez 5)

The Zoot Suit, at some point in American history, was very much associated with the Zoot Suit Riots. The Zoot Suit Riots were a host of street fights between zoot suiters and marines and sailors in Los Angeles, California. More specifically it is worth mentioning that the zoot suit riots started because Mexican American teenagers were racially discriminated. This very racial discrimination is what made the Mexican American teenagers and at some point even their folks to resist the racial discrimination that was being directed towards them.

Ostentatious zoot suit culture, with its strong affiliation to jazz, fashion, and swing music, Lindy Hop dancing and jitterbug, unique speech patterns, and risque experimentation with sexuality and gender, was inspired by the youth in the course of the 1940s. Power of the Zoot can be perceived as an expression of national consideration to the Zoot suit as a well-acclaimed phenomenon. Offering a brand new history of young people's culture grounded upon rare characteristics, the Zoot culture is the exact definition of matters revolving cultural politics in urban America in the course of the Second World War. It is undeniable that the zoot suit culture was mainly a machination or instrument utilized by African American youths and Mexican youths, together with a lot of Japanese and whites to go against: the normative social constructs associated with youthful behavior; the taking root of white middle class lifestyle, and the expectations of their parents and communities at large (Alvarez 7).

The African American young adults took to themselves as a means of generating interracial, ethnic environment, promote communication amongst the whole society and task their subordinate. Depending on their skirmishes, the zoot suitors were linked as a class in comparison to the usual race, gender, and local differences. A particular class did not just task itself as a predefined cluster which was acknowledged by the same affairs of mistreatment but a collection that was founded on affiliate's rebelliousness to dominance. An example is sighted by Alvarez whereby African Americans, Mexican Americans and Japanese Americans used the zoot suit in their creation of an insubordinate individuality.

Conclusion

In summary, a lot of zoot suiters went against public taboos that revolved around race mixing and integration through socializing together and taking part in public occasions that encouraged the sharing of platforms and even as by young people from a multitude of ethnic and racial backgrounds. The Zoot Suit was initially popularized at the beginning of the 1940s. At the time when the Second World War was being fought, it was evident that a lot of young people; especially African American and Mexican Americans; along with a multitude of white and Nisei (Japanese), made use of popular culture to oppose expectations and normative social constructs from within their communities.

Works Cited

Alvarez, Luis. The power of the zoot: Youth culture and resistance during world war II. Vol. 24. Univ of California Press, 2008.Alvarez, Luis Alberto. The power of the zoot: race, community, and resistance in American youth culture, 1940-1945. Diss. 2001.

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Article Analysis Essay on Power of the Zoot. (2022, May 22). Retrieved from https://proessays.net/essays/article-analysis-essay-on-power-of-the-zoot

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