Off-campus UMass Amherst users: To download campus access dissertations, please use the following link to log into our proxy server with your UMass Amherst user name and password.

Non-UMass Amherst users: Please talk to your librarian about requesting this dissertation through interlibrary loan.

Dissertations that have an embargo placed on them will not be available to anyone until the embargo expires.

Author ORCID Identifier


Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Program


Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded


First Advisor


Second Advisor

Claudio Moreira

Third Advisor

Mari Castaneda

Fourth Advisor

Elizabeth L. Krause

Subject Categories

Communication | Critical and Cultural Studies | Gender, Race, Sexuality, and Ethnicity in Communication | Social and Behavioral Sciences


This dissertation involves myself, my two brothers, and our mother embarking, over several years, on a journey to explore the meanings we and others ascribe to our identities as second and third generation Puerto Ricans. Engaging a methodology I dub dialogic ethnography, the study produces a critical interweaving of family history, identity stories, and dialogue, within the context of U.S. racial/ethnic hierarchies. The purpose is to reflect on the ethical implications of our daily performances of cultural assimilation.