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Ana Y. Ramos-Zayas and Mérida M. Rúa

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9781479805198

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: January 2022

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479805198.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM NYU Press SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.nyu.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of NYU Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NYSO for personal use.date: 27 June 2022

On Being a White Person of Color

On Being a White Person of Color

Using Autoethnography to Understand Puerto Ricans’ Racialization

(p.516) 38 On Being a White Person of Color
Critical Dialogues in Latinx Studies

Salvador Vidal-Ortiz

NYU Press

This is an abridged version of a 2004 article, which uses autoethnography to make larger conceptual/theoretical points about racial/ethnic identity categories for Puerto Ricans in the United States. I utilize Puerto Rican-ness to illustrate the limitations of US “race” and ethnic constructs by furthering racialization analyses with seemingly contradictory categories such as “white” and “people of color.” I contrast personal experiences to those of racial/ethnic classificatory systems, the American imagery of Puerto Ricans, and simplistic, political identifications. Travel, colonial relations, intra-ethnic coalitional possibilities, and second-class citizenship are all aspects that expand on the notion of racialization as classically utilized in sociology and the social sciences. Although this is not a comparative study, I present differences between racial formation systems in Puerto Rico and the United States in order to make these points.

Keywords:   autoethnography, racialization, race/ethnicity, Puerto Ricans, people of color

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