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Cholo/Chola

The term Cholo (or the female Chola) is derived from early Spanish and Mexican usage and denotes racial or cultural marginalization. This Mexican American subculture originated in the barrio (neighborhood) street gangs of Southern California. Recently, some of its stylistic elements have been appropriated by pop stars and clothing manufacturers for consumption by the wider youth culture. Cholo style includes characteristic demeanor, clothing, makeup, speech patterns, hand signals, tattoos, and graffiti. Characteristics associated with choloization include low socioeconomic status, marginalized acculturation, problems in school, and the need for cultural support, protection, and a sense of belonging. Loyalty, honor, respect, and protection of territory are hallmark Cholo values that guide behavior and social organization. Locura (craziness), criminal activity, and fighting are accepted within the culture, and ...

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