Creating Masculinity in Los Angeles's Little Manila

Working-Class Filipinos and Popular Culture, 1920s-1950s

Linda España-Maram

Columbia University Press

Creating Masculinity in Los Angeles's Little Manila

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Pub Date: April 2006

ISBN: 9780231115933

280 Pages

Format: Paperback

List Price: $32.00£26.95

Pub Date: April 2006

ISBN: 9780231115926

280 Pages

Format: Hardcover

List Price: $95.00£79.95

Pub Date: April 2006

ISBN: 9780231510806

280 Pages

Format: E-book

List Price: $31.99£26.95

Creating Masculinity in Los Angeles's Little Manila

Working-Class Filipinos and Popular Culture, 1920s-1950s

Linda España-Maram

Columbia University Press

In this new work, Linda España-Maram analyzes the politics of popular culture in the lives of Filipino laborers in Los Angeles's Little Manila, from the 1920s to the 1940s. The Filipinos' participation in leisure activities, including the thrills of Chinatown's gambling dens, boxing matches, and the sensual pleasures of dancing with white women in taxi dance halls sent legislators, reformers, and police forces scurrying to contain public displays of Filipino virility. But as España-Maram argues, Filipino workers, by flaunting "improper" behavior, established niches of autonomy where they could defy racist attitudes and shape an immigrant identity based on youth, ethnicity, and notions of heterosexual masculinity within the confines of a working class.

España-Maram takes this history one step further by examining the relationships among Filipinos and other Angelenos of color, including the Chinese, Mexican Americans, and African Americans. Drawing on oral histories and previously untapped archival records, España-Maram provides an innovative and engaging perspective on Filipino immigrant experiences.
Espana-Maram's volume effectively conveys the multidimensional quality of these men's lives. Barbara M. Posadas, Journal of American History
[A] groundbreaking work. Philip Samponaro, Journal of Popular Culture
This book gives us a look into the lost world of Filipino American urban cultural creativity... an absorbing and exciting book. Dawn B. Mabalon, H-Net
[An] impressive, rewarding book. Whitney Strub, Southern California Quarterly
Acknowledgments
Introduction: Filipino Immigration to California and the Contours of Filipino Immigrant Studies
1. Making a Living: The Meanings of Work and the Struggles for Solidarity
2. Of Dice and Men: Inter-Asian Relations and the Ethnic Vice Industry in Chinatown
3. From the "Living Doll" to the "Bolo Puncher": Prizefighting, Masculinity, and the Sporting Life
4. "White Trash" and "Brown Hordes": Taxi Dance Halls and the Policing of Working-Class Bodies
5. The War Years: Identity Politics at the Crossroads of Spectacle, Excess, and Combat
6. Reformulating Communities: Filipino Los Angeles Since World War II
Notes
Bibliography
Index

Read an excerpt from the chapter >"From the 'Living Doll' to the 'Bolo Puncher'" (pdf)

History Book Award

About the Author

Linda Espana-Maram is associate professor of Asian American Studies at California State University, Long Beach.