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Title:Between two flags: cultural nationalism and racial formation in Puerto Rican Chicago, 1946-1994
Author(s):Staudenmaier, Michael J.
Director of Research:Roediger, David R.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Roediger, David R.
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Burgos Jr., Adrian; Burton, Antoinette; Dávila, Jerry; Mumford, Kevin
Department / Program:History
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Puerto Ricans
cultural nationalism
racial formation
social movements
twentieth century
Abstract:This dissertation traces the history of Chicago's Puerto Rican community between 1946 and 1994, a period of sustained growth and repeated transformations. Throughout this period, cultural nationalism proved itself a valuable tool to mobilize support for multiple and competing political projects, including both those that supported and those that rejected independence for the island of Puerto Rico. As such, I argue, cultural nationalism played a key role in shaping the racial formation of the local community and, eventually, the emergence of "Latina/o" as a novel racial category on a broader scale. Drawing on a wide range of archival sources, including newspapers, government documents, ethnographic field notes, and polemical writings produced within social movements, Between Two Flags sheds new light on the history of attempts by forces within Chicago's Puerto Rican community to define its identity in the face of external pressures. The first two chapters investigate three early efforts to deploy cultural nationalism on a local scale, all of which promoted (in different ways) the eventual assimilation of Puerto Ricans into whiteness. Chapters three and four examine the collapse of these early models, first by excavating in detail the pivotal three-day Division Street Riots of 1966, and then by looking at the gendered experience of poverty in the community. Chapters five and six track the emergence and eventual institutionalization of a militant anti-colonial cultural nationalism, focusing on the influence of black nationalism as well as the growing alliances connecting Puerto Rican and Chicana/o activists, who collectively influenced the emergence of latinidad. A brief epilogue draws lessons for the present moment.
Issue Date:2016-06-30
Rights Information:Copyright 2016 Michael J. Staudenmaier
Date Available in IDEALS:2016-11-10
Date Deposited:2016-08

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