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Author Ruiz, Luz I
Title From fictions to subjects: Latino(a)/United States Puerto Rican youths constructing and negotiating their identity in the classroom
book jacket
Descript 272 p
Note Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 61-08, Section: A, page: 3032
Adviser: Lourdes Diaz Soto
Thesis (Ph.D.)--The Pennsylvania State University, 1999
This qualitative study was conducted during a six-week summer residential academic program at The Pennsylvania State University with 20 Latino(a) high school seniors. As the teacher-as-researcher, I taught a developmental reading and writing course, in which these students created autobiographies, poems, and other narrative acts to (re)present and (re)invent themselves and their identity through a variety of activities. I used their narratives and written responses to cultural texts to examine the "fictions" that are created about Latino(a)/Puerto Rican adolescents, by which they are often made objects by the dominant culture
My research methodology, rooted in feminist research and cultural studies, included two distinct identity paradigms, which I conceptualized as moments in identity (Multiple Subjectivity and An Essentialist Self), based on theories of identity formation: Stuart Hall's (diasporic Caribbean identity/multiple subjectivity; Gloria Anzaldua's borderland/ la frontera, her locations for identity negotiation/resistance, and Arjun Appadurai's radical language of translocality to explore home and internal and external migratory paths
Essentially, I explored the research question: What are Latino(a)/U.S. Puerto Rican adolescents saying about themselves? My focus was on how U.S. Puerto Rican youths construct their subjectivity to subvert the fictions of the dominant culture's stereotypes, representing their multiple selves, and, therefore, providing spaces for reconfiguring agency, resistance, and negotiation
Most traditional research has made Puerto Rican students into objects rather than subjects capable of changing their disadvantaged educational conditions. However, I argue in this postmodern study that previous studies have failed to voice the presence of any sense of resistance or agency on the part of Latino(a)/U.S. Puerto Rican adolescent men and women
My research demonstrates that the majority of the young men and women participants believe that the established notions of Latinidad, Puerto Ricanness, and Americanness are not absolute categories. This thesis demonstrates the potential for integrating issues of identity/subjectivity into school curricula in ways that are emancipatory and transformational of teaching practices. It also suggests learning possibilities that may help all students create subjectivities that would result in more liberating and positive learning experiences for teacher-learner relations, as well as for students' classmate/peer relations
School code: 0176
Host Item Dissertation Abstracts International 61-08A
Subject Education, Bilingual and Multicultural
Alt Author The Pennsylvania State University
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