La Evolución Discontinua del Pensamiento Poscolonial en El Siglo XX: Los Conflictos de La Identidad Colectiva el La Ensayística de Latinos en Los Estados Unidos

Karina A. Bautista, University of Massachusetts - Amherst


This dissertation studies the politics of collective identity in the essays of Jesús Colón, Julia Álvarez and Richard Rodriguez. Through their essays I study the different configurations of collective identity (mainly those of Latino people, minorities, diasporic, transnational and national subjects) that these writes evaluate from their social position in the United States. A review of their works reveals important aspects about the problem of identity of a first and second generation of Latinos who try to understand themselves as part of the heterogeneous community in the United States. These three writers focus on the malleability of identity and use it to understand different ideologies and values. In his essays Colón highlights the reality of a subject that is economically marginalized by the historical process of capitalism. In addition, he advocates for the union of transnational workers of the Puerto Rican Diaspora in New York, who face stratification and social isolation. In contrast, Álvarez explores the construction of a diasporic identity that relies on history and on transnationalism. This author places emphasis on her writing as a nation, as a means to reflect and re-write the Dominican transnational identity. Rodriguez, the third essayist I study in this research, promotes the foundation of an American identity and evaluates the ways in which it is obstructed by the practices of communities that identify as minority. The objective of my research is to analyze the development of Latino identity using the models that these authors explore. I rely on their ideas and techniques to study the complicated and conflicting process of the evolution of a collective identity. Throughout the 20th century, these authors developed their own approach to the ideological fragmentation and mestizaje emphasized by postcolonial thought. This fragmentation influences their interpretation of history, ethnic/racial identity, family, language, education, cultural hybridity, representation and nationalism.