Folk Studies and Anthropology
To what extent does a Mexican American identify with Mexico? With the U.S.? How are these identities formed? Through a series of semi-structured interviews with second- and third-generation descendants of migrants emigrating from seven Spanish-speaking Latin American countries, I explore what it means to be Hispanic American. I begin by examining the informants’ perceptions of boundaries between the broad Hispanic and American ethnic groups and their self-defined positions relative to those boundaries. Having established this position, I then analyze the impact of external conceptions of authenticity and access to “ethnic raw materials” in their construction of this ethnic identity. Findings suggest 1) that informants as a whole consider the boundary between Hispanic and American significantly blurred, and 2) that the positive impact of interaction with cultural resources outweighs informants’ relatively slight negative experience with challenges to authenticity, the latter of which are, in many cases, constructive motivators.
Advisor(s) or Committee Chair
Dr. Kate Hudepohl
Anthropology | Latin American Languages and Societies | Latina/o Studies
Culbreth, Caroline E., "Blood from Blood and Earth from Earth: Examining Cultural Identity in Second and Third Generation Hispanic Americans" (2015). Mahurin Honors College Capstone Experience/Thesis Projects. Paper 552.