Graduation Year

2005

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Ph.D.

Degree Granting Department

Communication

Major Professor

Dr. Elizabeth Bell

Keywords

Hispanic, Intercultural, Ethnicity, Race

Abstract

This study is an exploration of Latina/o-White hybrid identity for constructions and negotiations of hybridity as performed in the lives of individuals and as rearticulated in discourse. These discourses are drawn from interviews with nine individuals, stories of my own life, and three published memoirs. Despite these different forms, all the self identified Latina/o-White hybrid individuals speak to the difficulty of imagining and enacting a hybrid identity within todays discourse on race and ethnicity. This study articulates these difficulties as lived experience, theory, and performance come together to argue for and against hybridity as a model for contemporary identity. The project rests mainly on the theory of performativity and the theory of hybridity. In Chapter Two, I interview nine participants. While Whiteness was consistently re-centered in their self-perceptions, this re-centering disrupts naturalness to their racial identity.

Race is understood beyond the visual and into the performative.This disruption of naturalness allows room for a more imaginative approach to race. In Chapter Three, I utilize the Mexican pop singer, Paulina Rubio, as a backdrop to my own theoretical and material performative embodiments of hybridity. I deconstruct the perceived hybridity of Paulina Rubio, and I theorize the lived-experience of my own hybrid performativity. I demonstrate how hybrid performativity,while theoretically achievable, loses its material efficacy.In Chapter Four, I do a close-reading of three memoirs written about and by Latina/o-White hybrid individuals. The range of hybridity, being thrust upon and beinga strategy, is reproduced as a continuum across different hybridities of the Latina/o-White hybrid individual. The continuum moves across five hybrid strategies for languaging identity: imposter, mongrel, homeless, bridge, and twin. Chapter Five is a summary of the dissertation.

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