Navigating Multiracial Latinx Identity: A Hybrid Rhetorical Redefinition Through Counter-Narratives

Date

2024

Authors

Gentry, Victoria Ramirez

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Abstract

This dissertation examines the inherent multiraciality within the Latinx/a/o community to resist the master narratives of the racial imaginary and redefine Latinx identity as hybrid. Because the racial imaginary constructs binaries that exclude and erase the plurality of Latinx identity through film, television, and literature, hybridity as a rhetorical framework disrupts the binaries and makes visible the embodiment of multiracial/ethnic Latinx lived experiences. I establish hybridity as a framework by analyzing the rhetorical efficacy of counter-narratives to resist the binaries of the racial imaginary and provide hybrid Latinxs a voice and representation. First, I expand upon historical conceptions of mestizaje theory by emphasizing that hybridity moves beyond dichotomies of pure versus nonpure identities because there is no inherent purity or superior mixture; rather, inherent plurality through multiracial/ethnic embodiment. Second, I merge visual rhetoric, multiracial studies, and young adult (YA) Latinx literature to address the gap in scholarship that assumes the Latinx community is homogenous. Third, I analyze counter-narratives of Latinx voices to illustrate the hybridity and multiraciality of the community. I examine the multimodality of YA literature that implements zine images, the animation and magical realism in films/shows that illustrate hybrid Latinx bodies, and the results of my IRB-approved study that collected Language Literacy Narratives of UTSA Technical Writing students and revealed that the majority of my Latinx students have either lost Spanish or never learned it. Lastly, I establish findings that illustrate Latinxs are heterogeneous and Latinx representation and scholarship must embody the hybridity of Latinx multiraciality and plurality. I conclude with a call to implement hybrid theory within classrooms to encourage students to recognize and construct their own counter-narratives of hybridity.

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Keywords

Hispanic-Serving Institutions, Hybrid, Latina/o, Latinx, Multiracial, Rhetoric

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Department

English