Dr. John Rector
Master of Arts
In this paper I sought to understand whether narcocorridos represent an aberration or a continuation of the corrido tradition. Drawing upon the subaltern theories advanced by Antonio Gramsci, we find that corridos represent a form of cultural communication in an extremely class stratified society. The concept of the social bandit as conceived by the British Marxist historian Eric Hobsbawm sheds further light on how and why heroes—or anti-heroes—are treated not only as real men, but archetypal manifestations of agency and self-determination that is out of reach for all but a few. Exploring the historic roots of the Mexican corrido we see that the narcocorrido is deeply rooted in Mexican culture, and like the traditional corridos of the Revolutionary period represent a narrative attempt to reconcile complex and often contradictory elements of daily life in a country ‘at war.’
Berry, Sarah. “Heroes or Villains: Placing Narcocorridos in the Mexican Corrido Tradition.” Paper presented at the Phi Alpha Theta Pacific Northwest Regional Conference, Spokane, Washington, April 12-14, 2012.