Performativity and the Latina/o-white hybrid identity: performing the textual self

Performativity and the Latina/o-white hybrid identity: performing the textual self

University of South Florida
192 pages

Shane T. Moreman, Associate Professor of Communications
California State University, Fresno

A dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy Department of Communication College of Arts and Sciences

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.

Table of Contents

  • List of Tables
  • Abstract
  • Chapter One: Introduction
    • Rationale for the Study
    • Identity: Self, Other, and Racial Other
    • Performing an Identity
    • Multiplicity of Self and Other
    • Preview of the Chapters
  • Chapter Two: Acting in Concert and Acting In Accord: Performativity of Latina/o-White Identity
    • The Terms of Latina/o Identity
    • The Ineffable White
    • Between the Many-Named and the Never-Need-to-be-Named
    • Constructing and Negotiating Identity through Material Practices
    • Constructing and Negotiating Identity through the Visual
    • Constructing and Negotiating Identity through Discourse
    • Constructing and Negotiating Identity through Performative Acts
    • Conclusion
  • Chapter Three: Paulina Rubio Y Yo: Questioning Hybrid Perfomativity
    • Paulina Rubio: ?Eres la persona que te dices?
    • Moving as She Moves and Mouthing Her Words: Hybrid Performativity
    • Globalized Media as an Opportunity for Hybridity
    • A Hybrid Identity Foreclosed
  • Chapter Four: Memoir as Equipment for Living: Hybrid Performative Identities
    • Textual Production of Hybrid Performativity
    • Performative Trappings: Language as Binary/Hierarchy Trap
    • Performative Trappings: Performing Whiteness
    • Performative Trappings: Words that Produce Their Subjects and Effects
    • When Performativity Meets Hybridity: Beyond the Trappings
    • A Continuum of Strategies of Hybrid Performativity: The Imposter
    • A Continuum of Strategies of Hybrid Performativity: The Mongrel
    • A Continuum of Strategies of Hybrid Performativity: The Homeless
    • A Continuum of Strategies of Hybrid Performativity: The Bridge
    • A Continuum of Strategies of Hybrid Performativity: The Twin
    • Hybridizing Art with Love
  • Chapter Five: A Grammar of Hybridity in the Subjunctive Mood
    • Overview of Significant Findings within the Chapters
    • Performativity & the Latina/o-White Hybrid Identity: Performing the Textual Self
    • Implications for Future Research in Hybridity
  • References
  • Appendices
    • Appendix A: Informed Consent
    • Appendix B: Interview Schedule
    • Appendix C: Letter of Support
  • About the Author

Read the entire dissertation here.

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