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Author ORCID Identifier


Open Access Dissertation

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Program


Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded


First Advisor

Kimberlee Pérez

Second Advisor

Claudio Moreira

Third Advisor

Kristie Soares

Subject Categories

Critical and Cultural Studies | Other Communication | Performance Studies


Scholarly work may be used to foster colonizing processes upon people of color whether scholars are aware of it or not. That is the case of the study of youth bullying in the United States, an old issue that, however, became a central social concern in the United States in the late 1990s. Building upon scholars’ framing of youth bullying, a combination of moral panics on youth unfolded, fostering a law-and-order regime in schools that expanded the application of zero-tolerance policies. These policies fed the school-to-prison pipeline that funnels youth into the criminal justice system, a form of internal colonization that polices, incarcerates, and exploits youth of color in the United States. As a researcher on youth bullying, I was oblivious to this harmful outcome. I was becoming an enemy of youth of color and I committed to unbecoming one, using this dissertation for that purpose. First, by tracing the genealogy of the study of youth bullying and how academic premises became Gramscian common sense. Second, by reflecting upon and redressing my complicity with (neo)colonialism. I use performance x autoethnography and Anzaldúa’s Coyolxauhqui imperative as methods to unfold a self decolonizing process as a Canary Islander and queer diasporic nepantlera who is a colonize(d)(r) scholar. The new conocimiento that I obtain in this process allows me to look at the study of youth bullying with a different gaze. As a result, I offer an alternative onto-epistemological and methodological approach to the study of youth bullying in the United States. I advocate for a collective decolonizing reframing of youth bullying based upon centering youth’s agency, challenging adult researchers’ standpoint, suggesting other onto-epistemological and conceptual approaches, as well as promoting other values and tactics in the study of youth peer abuse and violence. This dissertation, in sum, is an onto-epistemo-methodological embodied reflection that offers a methodological contribution on how to study youth bullying in less colonizing ways. Likewise, it contributes to methodological conversations on how to use performance autoethnography to self-decolonize as well as how to decolonize performance autoethnography. Moreover, this text contributes to better understanding diasporic experience and expands the literature on the Canarian diaspora. Fundamentally, this dissertation contributes to decolonizing academia.