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1 PUERTO RICAN MIGRATION: HYBRID IDENTITIES AMONG RETURN MIGRANTS By WHITNEY M. LOPEZ HARDIN A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2011
2 2011 Whitney M. Lopez Hardin
3 To my family for their encouragement and support throughout my lifetime Special thank you to Nicholas Simmons, for his incredible love patience, and ki ndness
4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I would like to thank the chair, Dr. Williams, and members of my supervisory committee, Dr. Brown and Dr. Felix for their continued help and mentoring. Thank you Dr. Williams for providing support and advice throughout the last t wo years, not only on my thesis, but as my academic advisor. Thank you Dr. Brown, for your wonderfully positive attitude and spirit, and for encouragement in all endeavors. Thank you Dr. F lix for taking such a genuine interest in my research, for your met iculous edits and suggestions, and endless support. I would also like to thank the staff at the Latin American Studies department and Smathers Library in their assistance and references. Thank you to the participants who took part in my interviews and to all the individuals in Puerto Rico who offered a place to stay, a meal, or kind word. Finally, thank you to the University of Washington and the Inter University Consortium for Political and Social Research for hosting the 2006 L atino N ational S urvey and m aking the dataset available for scholarly use
5 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 4 LIST OF TABLES ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 7 ABSTRACT ................................ ................................ ................................ ..................... 9 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 11 Literature Review ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 12 Circular Migration: Citizenship and Identity ................................ ...................... 14 Migration and Nationality: The Primacy of Territory and Language .................. 17 Trans national Migration Theories ................................ ................................ ..... 19 Ties to Literature on International Migration and Final Thoughts ...................... 22 Research Design ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 24 2 IDENTITY FORMATION ................................ ................................ ......................... 29 Roots of Puerto Rican Identity ................................ ................................ ................ 30 Colonialism and U.S. Imperialism ................................ ................................ ..... 31 Incorporated Territory ................................ ................................ ....................... 34 Discourses on Identity Formation ................................ ................................ ........... 35 Nationalism ................................ ................................ ................................ ....... 36 Insularism ................................ ................................ ................................ ......... 37 Hybridity ................................ ................................ ................................ ........... 38 Tran snationalism ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 39 Twentieth Century Migration ................................ ................................ ............. 40 1900 s 1940s. ................................ ................................ .......................... 40 1950 s 1980s. ................................ ................................ .......................... 40 1980s 2000. ................................ ................................ ............................ 41 Concluding Thoughts ................................ ................................ .............................. 42 3 TRA NSNATIONAL MIGRATION AND ENGLISH LANGUAGE ACQUISITION ...... 44 Transnationalism ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 45 Qualitative Research ................................ ................................ ........................ 45 Factors in migration to the U.S. ................................ ................................ .. 46 Factors in return migration. ................................ ................................ ........ 47 Weighing unemployment. ................................ ................................ ........... 48 Downward mobility. ................................ ................................ .................... 49 Quantitative Research ................................ ................................ ...................... 50 Contact. ................................ ................................ ................................ ...... 51 Visit frequency. ................................ ................................ .......................... 52
6 Permanent movement. ................................ ................................ ............... 53 Language and Identity ................................ ................................ ............................ 54 Qualitative Research ................................ ................................ ........................ 54 Measuring bilingualism. ................................ ................................ ............. 55 Spanish mai ntenance. ................................ ................................ ............... 57 Attitudes. ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 58 Spanish, culture, and identity. ................................ ................................ .... 58 Qu antitative Research ................................ ................................ ...................... 59 Measuring bilingualism. ................................ ................................ ............. 59 Spanish maintenance. ................................ ................................ ............... 61 Political I dentity. ................................ ................................ ............................... 61 Concluding Thoughts ................................ ................................ .............................. 62 4 CONCLUSION ................................ ................................ ................................ ........ 65 Major Findings ................................ ................................ ................................ ........ 65 Transnationalism. ................................ ................................ ............................. 66 Bilingualism. ................................ ................................ ................................ ..... 67 Limitations ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 68 Situating Findings within the Literature and Contributions ................................ ...... 70 Political Implications ................................ ................................ ................................ 72 Three Plebiscites: 1967, 1993, 1998 ................................ ................................ 72 1967 Referendum. ................................ ................................ ..................... 72 1993 Referendum. ................................ ................................ ..................... 73 1998 Referendum. ................................ ................................ ..................... 73 Future of Parties ................................ ................................ ............................... 74 Future Avenues of Research ................................ ................................ .................. 74 APPENDIX A QUESTIONNAIRE IN ENGLISH ................................ ................................ ............. 77 B QUESTIONNAIRE IN SPANISH ................................ ................................ ............. 79 REFERENCES ................................ ................................ ................................ .............. 82 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ................................ ................................ ............................ 87
7 LIST OF TABLES Table page 3 1 Contact with f a mily and f riends in P.R. by b irthplace ................................ .......... 52 3 2 Frequency of visits to Puerto Rico by b irthplace ................................ ................. 53 3 3 Plans to live in Puerto Ri co p ermanently by b irthplace ................................ ....... 54 3 4 Respond reference by a ge ................................ ........................ 56 3 5 Ability to understand and speak English by i n come ................................ ............ 60 3 6 Importance to m aintain Spanish language by b irthplace ................................ .... 61 3 7 Level of interest in politics and public a ffairs by b ir thplace ................................ 62
8 LIST OF ABBREVIATION S PIP Partido Independentista Puertorriqueo / Independence Party PNP Partido Nuevo Progresista / New Progressive Party PPD Partido Popular Democrtico / Popular Democratic Party USWD United States War Department
9 Abstract of Thesis Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Master of Arts PUERTO RICAN MIGRATION: HYBRID IDENTITIES AMONG RETURN MIGRANTS By Whitney M. Lopez Hardin May 2011 Chair: Philip Williams Major: Latin American Studies The study I present is an analysis on Puerto Rican circular migration and identity formation. I specifically address how middle class Puerto Rican circular migra nts are creating cultural, national, and political identities that differ from traditional modes of identity formation, due to their unique patterns of migration. Previous research on Puerto Rican migration has tended to be somewhat limited, mainly focusin g on working class citizens and/or the large diaspora who remain in the United States. My research focuses on urban, middle class Puerto Ricans who frequently migrate between the United States and Puerto Rico. I argue that these transnational migrants are creating hybrid identities and maintaining dual allegiances. A multi method and multi sited approach is used to provide an in depth analysis, using both semi structured interviews and the 2006 Latino National Survey (LNS). Thirty five semi structured inter views were conducted among middle class Puerto Ricans over a six week period in Puerto Rico during the 2010 summer. In addition, analyses from the LNS dataset, measuring identity formation, language acquisition, and transnational ties, are taken to assess the levels of hybridity among middle class Puerto Rican migrants. The main findings suggest that these transnational circular migrants are creating hybrid identities that combine aspects
10 of Puerto Rican and American (U.S.) cultural values as a result of th e historical precedent of U S interventionism, frequent circular migration, and increased bilingualism. This study is a preliminary examination that will add to our understanding of identity formation among transnational migrants.
11 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION The overall goal of my thesis research is to examine how identity formation among Puerto Ricans has been altered as a result of transnational migration. Previous research on transnational migration has tended to be somewhat limited, mainly focusing on work ing class citizens and/or individuals who remain in the United States. Similarly, the literature on Puerto Rican migration and identity formation has examined the roles of working class migrants and has only speculated about middle and upper class migrants My research focuses on middle class Puerto Ricans who migrate to the United States and subsequently return to Puerto Rico. The main emphasis of my research is on how transnational migration is altering identity formation. I will explore the role of middl e class migrants and compare their experiences to those of their working class counterparts I will then discuss whether these middle class migrants are adding to the creation of hybrid identities. Before I begin an analysis of this particular group of mi grants, I review the major bodies of work on transnational migration and how they have been applied to the Puerto Rican case. The purpose of conducting a literature review in this field is to inform the research conducted in subsequent chapters. It can als o find major gaps within the literature and determine how a study of middle class migrants can provide additional insights into the debates on transnational migration This thesis is laid out in four separate chapters. In Chapter 1 I conduct a literature re view on current transnational migration theories and discuss the research design. In this section I explain the advantages of conducting a multi method approach and the specific methods that are employed. In Chapter 2 I discuss the intellectual discourse o n
12 cultural and national identity formation. I trace the roots of Puerto Rican identity, beginning with its status as a colony and the effects of U.S. imperialism under an incorporated territory status. By conducting this historical overview, I am exploring how cultural and national identity has traditionally been defined. This will help to understand and contextualize the ways in which transnational migration is altering identity formation today Chapter 3 will discuss the empirical data. I will use data fr om the 2006 Latino National Survey, in addition to ethnographic research conducted in the summer of 2010, to discuss transnationalism and language acquisition among middle class Puerto Ricans as a proxy for hybrid identities C hapter 4 will lay out the maj or findings of my research and discuss any limitations. I will conclude by arguing the contribution my work presents to the existing literature and possible avenues for future research. The overarching question this research asks is how are middle class P uerto Rican return migrants creating and defining their cultural and national identity? Do these return migrants display high levels of transnationalism and Spanish retention? Are these return migrants creating a hybrid identity, in other words, maintainin g ties and allegiances to both the United States and Puerto Rico? Lastly, if Puerto Rican return migrants are in fact creating dual identities, what are the possible political implications? I expect to find that middle class Puerto Rican return migrants ar e displaying high levels of transnationalism and Spanish retention. I also expect to find that these migrants are actively creating hybrid identities by maintaining dual allegiances Literature Review As nations become increasingly interconnected and migr ants continue to engage in political, economic, and social activities in multiple regions, th e strict definitions that delimit what encompasses a nation, identity, and transnational migration may evolve.
13 These terms can be applied to Puerto Rican migrants in a specific and unique way, due citizens. Because of the existing relationship between Pue rto Rico and the U.S., scholars have been able to conduct research on migration patterns without considering the obstacles that other transnational migrants face in regards to visa and citizenship requirements. Holding these obstacles as a constant has all owed for more focused research on the meaning of nationality. This review seeks to examine the ways in which migration to and from the United States by Puerto Ricans is transforming how identity and nation are being defined. Rather than flesh out the major theories of migration, it seeks to address how scholars are applying these dominant theories towards the Puerto Rican case and what, if any, shortcomings exist. I will later argue how my own research fits into this body of literature and its relevance. I n conducting a review on migration patterns and its impacts on identity formation, it is important to consider the main trends that surface from within the existing literature. Included in the sample are recent works by Jorge Duany (2002) 1 Elizabeth M. Ar anda (2007) Teresa Whalen & Vctor Vzques Hernndez (2005) 2 Maria del Carmen Baerga & Lanny Thompson (1990 ) Michael Kearney & Bernadete Beserra (2004) and Amilcar Antonio Barreto (2001) These scholars were chosen based on their extensive research on migration patterns of Puerto Ricans and efforts to address how identity and nationhood are conceptualized. Select chapters were chosen for review in the works by 1 Selected Chapter 9, Mobile Livelihoods: Circular Migration, Transnational Identities, and Cultural Borders between Puerto Rico and the United States p 208 235. 2 Se lected Chapter 10, Colonialism ,Citizenship, and Community Building in the Puerto Rican Diaspora: A Conclusion p 227 244
14 Duany (2002) and Aranda (2007) due to their specificity surrounding Puerto Rican migration pat terns and its e ffect on identity. The articles by Baerga & Thompson (1990) and Kearney & Beserra (2004) were chosen for their theoretical contributions Studies from Barreto (2001) Whalen & Vzquez Hernndez( 2005) were selected to highlight the relationsh ip between Spanish language and Puerto Rican identity. A recurring thread throughout this literature is how the migration patterns of Puerto Ricans are distinctly unique compared to other Caribbean nations. These scholars also que status as a commonwealth and the implications that accompany U.S. citizenship. This review will discuss these common trends in more depth and determine points of agreement and disagreement within the selected texts. The first section will discuss citiz enship in regards to political identity, the second will discuss nationhood in terms of territory and language, and the third will comment on the main theories scholars use to explain Puerto Rican migration. I will conclude by suggesting that research on u rban middle class migrant groups may provide additional insights into identity formation among Puerto Ricans. Circular Migration: Citizenship and Identity As of the 2000 census, there are over 3.4 million Puerto Ricans residing within the United States, c ompared to the 3.8 million living in Puerto Rico (Duany 2002) No other nation can claim that nearly half of its population lives outside of its borders, 3 and interestingly enough, hundreds of thousands of Puerto Ricans choose to migrate back 3 Comparisons were taken at national level. Subnational regions with high levels of migrants living abroad are excluded (e.g. Zacate cas, Mexico)
15 to the island each year 4 This pattern of circular migration is possible due to Puerto access to travel between the mainland and the island 5 Citizenship, traditionally defined as a set of rights and obligations bestowed unto members of a political community, has been considered a major component of identity formation (Purvis and Hunt 1999 ) United States citizenship con ferred onto Puerto Ricans has long been a site of contestation. It has also allowed for massive circular migration patterns Puerto Rican return migrants challenge the importance of citizenship as a defining characteristic of identity. The motives behind Puerto Rican migration to the United States can largely be attributed to economic factors ( Garca Bedolla 2009) Most studies that have examined migration patterns have focused on individuals who represent the lowest socioeconomic status, as they are the most likely to move in search of better employment opportunity. The reasons why migrants choose to leave the U.S. and return to lowe r wages in Puerto Rico are not as clear. Aranda (2007), Baerga & Thompson (1990), and Duany (2002) all argue that return migration can largely be attributed to strong cultural ties. Aranda (2007) states that many migrants return to the island after facing discrimination, exclusion, and feelings of being on the periphery of American society. She concludes that for many Puerto Ricans, rights associated with U.S. citizenship status does not equate to sharing an identity with U.S. Americans. In other words, the traditional notions of identity that encompass citizenship do not extend to Puerto Ricans. Baerga & 4 For additional figures on migratory patterns refer to the Puerto Rican Planning Board. A Comparative Study of Labor Market Characteristics of Return Migrants and Non Migrants in Puerto Rico (Government Printing Office, San Juan 1973). 5 Cir cular migration can also be referred to as return migration. Perhaps the best known literary image that captures circular migration between the Island a
16 Thompson (1990, 670) agree with this reasoning, estimating that over 64% of migrants return for so cial and cultural reasons. Duany (2002) argues that Puer to Ricans are forming new hybrid identities, as a result of the Puerto Rican diaspora. 6 Historically, the majority of Puerto Ricans have created an identity in opposition to U.S. hegemony, creating a clear division between American and Puerto Rican nationa l identities Increased circular migration has led to increased exposure to both cultures, allowing for greater tolerance and acceptance of U.S. values. Duany (2002) posits that Puerto Ricans are making strides towards embracing a hybrid identity. The unre stricted access that Puerto Ricans enjoy has increased circular migration, which only reinforces the possibility for hybrid identities. (2002) argument that migration can alter notions of identity, regardless of citizenship status, supports Aranda (2007) and Baerga and (1990) conclusions. Kearney & Baserra (2004), on the other hand, agree with traditional definitions of identity that encompass citizenship. This definition asserts that when a migrant crosses political barriers (i.e. citize nship status) their identity is transformed. Due to Puerto rather they are crossing cultural barriers. Kearney and Baserra (2004) do not accept hybrid identities, nor do they rule out the role citizenship plays in identity formation, as Aranda ( 2007, 227) and Baerga & Thompson (1990) do. While Kearney & Baserra (2004) are not able to make concrete conclusions, they 6 See also Juan Flor
17 suggest that future research co mpare classes with regards to citizenship and identity. The research within this study intends to do just that. Migra tion and Nationality: The Primacy of Territory and Language Most political scientists will agree on basic distinctions between the state a nd the nation; a state is defined as a sovereign entity that has territorial borders, whereas a nation is a group of people that have a collective identity which may include a shared language, religion, history, and/or territorial boundary (Anderson 2006). In order to nationhood, and in turn identity, the roles of territory and language have been further explored. Because Puerto Rico is a commonwealth and not a state, it is not difficult to separate its political and cultural boundaries. When Puerto Ricans travel to the United States and back they are not crossing political boundaries, rather they a re crossing cultural divides The d iaspora that resides within the territorial Un ited States continues to claim Puerto Rican nationality, even though they are outside of the territorial boundaries of the island Duany (2002) and Aranda (2007) challenge the notion that territory is intrinsically tied to nationhood. Fur thermore, they as sert that the d iaspora who claim a Puert o Rican nationality are as their conceptualization is different from those on the island Traditional definitions of nation do not perfectly apply to the Puerto Rican ca se; perhaps it needs to be expanded, as Duany (2002) and Aranda (2007) suggest. One main feature that characterizes a nation is a shared language. Each scholar noted the crucial role that Spanish language plays in Puerto Rican identity; however, Whalen & Vzquez Hernndez (2005) and Barreto (2001) delve into the history of
18 English incorporation and resistance, as well as increasing bilingualism, and the consequences of both. They discuss whether the changing scope of language, due to circular migration, i s affecting identity formation. Barreto (2001) traces the history of Puerto Rican resistance to English acquisition in public institutions and ties this resistance to an overall rejection of U.S.imperialism and culture. Some pro statehood advocates have t ried to argue that the English language can be formally adopted witho ut l osing P uerto Rican identity, but many island (2001, 92) own study finds that 47.7% of island ers can speak English, yet li ttle have had formal instruction Barreto (2001) determines that bilingualism is indicative of massive migration, not formal language classes. 7 Whalen & Vzquez Hernndez (2005 227 ) agree with Barreto (2001) on these points. They state that Puerto Ricans are increasingly becoming bilingual as a result of migration, not assimilation. They argue that Puerto Ricans desire to retain a national culture and language, while acquiring English ity as Duany (2002) suggested The Spanish language is intimately tied to cultural nationalism, and the growing number of island residents who speak English is a sign of transnational ties and interconnectedness, but not necessarily assimilation into Ameri can culture. One area in which the literature is vague is the impact that subsequent generations will have on identity formation. The residents who spend the majority of their time on the island will be Spanish monolinguists or speak Spanish as their prim ary l anguage but the primary language spoken for further generations of the d iaspora may 7 Formal English Instruction began in 1904, as cited by Cab n (2002,131).
19 be moving towards English (Whalen and Vzquez Hernndez 2005). The U.S. has had a steady flow of immigrants for centuries, most of who have eventually adopted English as their primary language. According to assimilationist theory (Warner and Strole 1945) it is increasingly common for second and third generations to learn English and speak it as their primary language. 8 Puerto Ricans provide an interesting divergence d ue to their strong national ties and resistance to adopting English as a primary language. Unfortunately the literature provides little to no information on the role of future generations, and I can only speculate as to the changes that might occur. Perhap s by testing for Engli sh language acquisition by age I will be able to determine if younger generations are becoming increasingly bilingual. 9 This could provide preliminary research for expected levels of bilingualism among subsequent generations. The focu s, however, will be to determine if English language acquisition among circular migrants is altering traditional notions of identity. Transnational Migration Theories As previously discussed, Puerto Rican migration patterns are altering conceptualizations of identity as well as blurring the importance of territorial lines and English language acquisition. Scholars have sought to apply the dominant theories of transnational migration to the Puerto Rican case in order to bring some understanding about the ef fects of their migration patterns. When reviewing the current literature on Puerto Rican migration, there were various trends that emerged There were several points of agreement among authors and little dissention What is interesting to note is 8 Classical assimilationist theory interprets assimilation as the successful integration of immigrant groups into the American middle class. 9 Testin g English language acquisition by age will be possible with data from the 2006 LNS dataset.
20 that each scholar within this representative literature review tries to apply a different theory to explain the Puerto Rican case. This could indicate that Puerto Rico is simply an outlier and cannot be explained by the dominant theories, or that more research need s to be conducted before a conclusion can be reached arguments will help to clarify this point. Duany (2002) provides the most comprehensive analysis of circular migration, questioning whether Puerto Rican migrants should be co nsidered transnational migrants in the first place. He argues that these migration patterns are challenging, if not undermining, the traditional ideas of what a nation is. He reasons that current transnational migration theories are not able to explain the Puerto Rican case, and instead uses the concept of circular migration. Duany (2002, 211) argues that the blurring lines between sending and receiving nations are convoluting the strong cultural ties each nation assigns to territory, language, citizenship, and ultimately, identity. International migrants are those that transcend both political and cultural barriers; Puerto Ricans only pass through cultural ones, thus they cannot be deemed international migrants. Duany (2002) posits that scholars may need to reassess how transnational migrants are defined, perhaps categorizing them based on their citizenship status or nationality Baerga & Thompson (1990) draw on the dual economy thesis to explain the blurring lines of nationhood. Briefly stated, a dual eco nomy occurs when one country has two separate economies running simultaneously. Puerto Rico has been economically depende nt on the U.S. for centuries, due to its protectorate status. It share s a common currency with the U.S., and is prohibited from conduct ing trade
21 unless approved by the U.S. These factors combined make it impossible for Puerto Rico to sustain its own economy without U.S. intervention Puerto Rico must rely on the U.S. to boost and aid its economy. Baerga & Thompson (1990) apply the dual ec onomy thesis to explain migration from the i sland to the mainland. In other words, migrants leave the i sland to head towards the dominant economy and secure their financial status. While this theory can explain migration to the mainland it fails to explain migration in the opposite direction. Baerga & Thompson (1990) acknowledge the weakness in their argument and counter argue that because Puerto Rico is not a traditional periphery zone, it does not adhere to the theory perfectly. They attempt to resolve th is by labeling Puerto Rico a semi periphery but are ultimately unable to clearly and convincingly make their case. Barreto (2001 89 ) does not specifically address the theories of transnational migration but examines the consequences of A mericanization id eology, a U.S. federal policy that sought to culturally assimilate Puerto Ricans through the incorporation of English within schools and institutions. He also breaks down the arguments of two schools: the separatists and statehooders. 10 The separatists are island ers who argue for a continued commonwealth status, whereas the statehooders support becoming the st state. Neither school can fully explain the migration patter n s yet Barreto (2001) c oncludes that no matter their viewpoints, they are first an d foremost Puerto Rican nationalists. An important agreement among these scholars was between Aranda (2007) and Whalen & Vzquez Hernndez (2005) in their gendered approach to transnational 10 Independis tas make up less than 1% and therefore, are excluded from the study.
22 migration. Until very recently, the literature on migration has g enerally denied the i mportance of gendered migration. 11 Aranda (2007) argues that different research has These factors include the context of departure and the financi al and educational status migrants bring to the host country. Migrants have traditionally been male labor migrants; however, recent Census data suggests that Puerto Rico is experiencing a feminization of migration. Whalen and Vazquez (2005) too argue the i mportance of gendered studies, as women in the diaspora have been the most vocal in obtaining educational equality and bilingual classes for Puerto Rican children. Incorporating women into the transnational migration conversation provides a more inclusive overview. Ties to Literature on International Migration and Final Thoughts The selected literature focuses on various aspects relevant for understanding Puerto Rican identity including the role of nationhood and citizenship, transnational versus internat ional migration, and the importance of transnational ties. Each scholar suggests that the emphasis on maintaining clear boundaries does not apply when discussing Puerto Rican migration. This is due in part to its colonial heritage, the close proximity of t he nations, and of course a shared U.S. citizenship status. Puerto Ricans do not cross political boundaries, thus breaking down classic definitions of territory, or as Basch et al (1994) call it, the deterritorialization of the (U.S.) state Breaking down these classic understandings is altering concepts of identity formation. Most literature does not distinguish between international and transnational migration; however, in order to examine the Puerto Rican case a differentiation is 11 See Hondagneu Sotelo and Goldring for additional studies on gendered migration t o the U.S.
23 necessary. Duany (200 2 218 ) provides the most convincing argument when he asserts that Puerto Ricans are circular migrants, passing through cultural spaces rather than political spaces, thus rendering them transnational migrants, not international migrants. As transnational m igrants continue to apply for U.S. citizenship and assimilate into American culture, it will be important to study how Puerto Ricans fit within or delineate from transnational migration theories. I suspect that as Puerto Ricans continue to participate in c ircular migration, hybrid identities will become more pronounced for those on the mainland and i sland I n reviewing the current literature on Puerto Rican migration and its effects on national identity, it is apparent that Puerto Rican migration is unique from other commonwealth status and U.S. citizenship. Scholars are able to control for these factors and examine how identity is affected by the blurring lines of terr itory and language. They are able to conclude that Puerto Ricans are migrating to the United States for predominately economic reasons and returning for cultural ones. They are also able to determine that many circular migrants are obtaining English langua ge skills, while retaining their cultural ties to the i sland This acquisition of English language, while simultaneous maintenance of Puerto Rican culture (including Spanish) is more indicative of hybridity, rather than assimilation. Lastly, they recognize that most research has focused on working class migrants, as they represent the largest sector of Puerto Rican return migrants. The scholars propose that further study sh ould focus on gendered migration (Aranda 2007; Whalen & Vzquez Hernndez 2005) or se cond and third generation
24 migrants to determine the changing dynamics of identity. While these studies are important to advancing our understanding of Puerto Rican migration researching differences between socio economic classes could provide the best ins ight into identity formation. Lower class migrants, regardless of gender, have typically migrated for economic reasons. As middle and upper class citizens increasingly migrate to the U.S., it wil l be important to research the motivations underlying migrati on as they will likely differ from lower classes. This could indicate that middle and upper classes assess their national identity in ways that differ from lower classes. Understanding the reasoning that classes invoke to formulate identity could clarify how migration is affecting identity. Scholars have not been able to successfully identify the main connections between Puerto Rican migration and national identity. My study on middle class migrants seeks to fill an existing gap within the literature and provide a compar ison to previous studies of working class migrants Research Design The methods that political scientists have employed in their research are varied, and yet a schism has separated qualitative and quantitative methodologies for decades ( Ta shakkori and Teddlie 2004 ) 12 Recent scholars argue that multi method research designs are better suited for providing generalizable findings and identifying causal mechanisms ( Haverkamp Morrow, and Ponterotto 2005) There are strengths and weakness within each tradition, which will be briefly discussed. According to Gonzlez Castro et al. (2010) there are four major strengths to quantitative approaches. These include the capacity to operationalize variables, con duct 12 For a complete overview of qualitative and quantitative methods refer to Tashakkori and Teddlie analysis in Chapter 1.
25 cross comparisons, test the strength of association between two or more variables, and test hypotheses. Viruel l Fuentes (2007 1525 ) argues that one major shortcoming of this approach is decontextualization 13 In other words, quantitative analysis is limited in that it removes information from i The opposite argument can be made of qualitative analysis, in that it completely contextualizes the subject, taking its environment into consideration. The strengths of conducting qualitative analysis, therefore, would include obtaining detailed accounts of the human experience, situated within social, cultural, economic, and political contexts, analysis of the human experience is better able to explain factors such as human emotion and cultural values that quantitative analysis alone cannot (Plano Clark et al. 2008) Qualitative approaches lack in their ability to assign uniform definitions across observations and leave conclusion s open for interpretation. These approaches have been critiqued for their small and non random samples, which can make conclusions difficult to generalize. There are benefits and shortcomings within both traditions and the decision to apply one method vers us the other should be driven by the research questions themselves and the availability of data. The type of research I am primarily concerned with deals with concepts of identity, cultural values, and language. Perspectives on these issues can be difficul t to asses through survey data, and for that reason I conducted ethnographic interviews among participants. The participants I interviewed, however, are part of a much larger diaspora of transnational migrants, and interviews 13 Virue l l Fuentes (2007, 1525) refers to decontextualization lack of attention paid to the interplay of culture w
26 alone are not able to adequate ly represent the target population. Including quantitative data into the study helps to paint a fuller empirical picture. By using a mixed methods approach, I am able to test the relationships among multiple variables while providing a broader context. T he specific methodological model that I chose to follow is a sequential collection and analysis, followed by a phase of quantitative data collection and analysis. The refore, the priority is given to the q ualitative aspects of the study (Tashakkori and Teddlie 2003, 227). The main research questions of my study are concerned with the human experience, which can be better assessed using quantitative methods. The subsequ ent data analysis is used to support the ethnographic findings. The ethnographic interviews were conducted over a six week period in the summer of 2010 in Puerto Rico. Throughout this period I inter viewed thirty five respondents, all over the age of eigh teen, in the cities of San Juan, Humacao, Mayaguez, Cabo Rojo, and Aguadilla. 14 Initial contacts were made through personal connections, and subsequent respondents were contacted through the use of snowball sampling. 15 This technique requires the researcher to ask initial respondents to recommend other potential participants. The second group of participants then recommends other individuals, and a snowball effect occurs. 14 Respondents were selected from similar socio economic urban backgrounds. 15 Snowball sampling is a technique often used in the Social Sciences to identity possible subjects in an area that may be difficult to detect, or when similar respondents are essential to the study; snowball sampling was used in this study to easily find respondents within same the middle socio economic class. For additional studies on the benefits and limitations of snowball sampling, r efer to Biernacki and Waldorf (1981).
27 I chose to use a semi structured format when conducting interviews among all thirty fiv e respondents. I conducted a questionnaire and asked respondents to answer each question fully, but allowed for divergences and new topics to be introduced. As opposed to a structured format that has a limited set of questions, a semi structured format all ows the respondents to explore and discuss the suggested themes more fully. Interviews typically lasted between fifteen and thirty minutes, and respondents were given the option to conduct the interview in either English or Spanish. Twenty three respondent s chose to conduct the interview in Spanish and twelve in English. I used a digital recorder during all interviews as well as took notes. I did not conduct follow up interviews due to time constraints. All quantitative data is taken from the 2006 Latino N ational Survey (LNS), which is hosted by the Inter University Consortium for Political and Social Research. According to the LNS website (2010) (unweighted) of self identified Latino/Hispanic residents Respondents were all over eighteen years of age, allowed to conduct the interview in descriptions to political attitudes and policy preferences, as w ell as a variety of social 16 Only respondents of Puerto Rican descent (both i sland and mainland born) who answered questions regarding transnationalism and language were used in my study. All analyses are conducted using the Sur vey Documentation 16 Information taken from the 2006 LNS online website.
28 and Analysis (SDA) system. 17 The quantitative data provides a more representative sample of the Puerto Rican migrant diaspora. The literature review provided in Chapter 1 seeks to inform the character of Puerto Rican return migration. By applying the prevailing theories of international migration to this case study, I am able to determine that a detailed account of identity formation within the Puerto Rican context will provide addition al depth and clarity. Chapter 2 aims to discuss the in tellectual discourses surrounding the formation of Puerto Rican identity. By doing so, I will expose the complexities of class structure and challenge basic assumptions on Puerto Rican identity. 17 SDA is provided by 2006 LNS online website for use among participating universities.
29 CHAPTER 2 IDENTITY FORMATION Identity is a complex concept, incorporating multiple aspects of culture, politics, economics, and social norms into a single ideology. Identity can be scaled down, meaning that an individual has an identity on a personal or micro level, and it can be scaled up, where an individual has a shared identity with other members of his/her society, at the communal regional, national, and transnational level. The function of a national identity is to unify multiple people, who have shared values and beliefs and are o ftentimes d elimited by a c ertain territory. The most basic way to interpret a national identity is to study a society as a whole. Attributing values and cultural norms to an entire society tends to homogenize a nation, rather than highlight the multiple factions within subnational and regional identities. This lens of analysis has been used to study the Puerto Rican case throughout most of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries Puerto Rican identity has continued to evolve since the first Spanish colonizers introduced their cultu re to the indigenous populations. Additionally, the i sland has been (and still is) greatly influenced by its unique relationship with the United States. As the number of transnational migrants becomes ever increasing, new studies must incorporate them into the discourse on identity formation. In tracing the roots of Puerto Rican identity, and later discussing how intellectual discourses have analyzed national and cultural identity formation, I will determine how circular migrants fit into the discourse and argue for their inclusion in understanding identity formation. I will also discuss why studying identity formation as an essentialist process, in other words applying an unalterable homogenizing perspective, has been counterproductive to understanding the complexities of the Puerto Rican case. By fleshing out these
30 arguments, the need for specific studies, namely those that pay attention to other categories of difference such as class, will become apparent. Roots of Puerto Rican Identity Little is kno wn about the original inhabitants of Puerto Rico before the 1500s. Known as the Arawaks or Tanos, they are said to have been a peaceful, agriculturally minded civilization who gave the i sland its native name, boriquen Spanish conquistadors began arriving in large numbers during the sixteenth century, enslaving the Tanos and working them to near extinction. These harsh working conditions, in combination with exposure to infectious diseases brought by the Spaniards, had severely reduced the native populati on in the 50 years after conquest. One such documented case is the smallpox out break in 1518. In 1520, King Carlos I of Spain emancipated the Tanos, but the damage to the native civilization was irreparable. It was not until the early 1900s that the Tano s would be recognized as an important aspect of Puer to Rican history and culture. In the mid 1700s, the Spanish began importing large numbers of African slaves from the Sub Saharan region The demand for slave labor escalated as the Tanos dwindled under Spanish oppression. By the late 1830s nearly 50,000 African slave laborers resided in Puerto Rico, heavily concentrated in coastal regions (Curet 1980) By the 1840s dependency on slave labor reduced as economic growth tapered off. In the decades that foll owed, emancipation movements surfaced island s island economic decline and political su bordination ( Schmidt Nowara 2009 7). In 1873 slavery was abolished, freeing the Africans to intertwine with native Puerto Ricans and Spaniards. Over the next several
31 decades the distinct ethnic and racial divides blurred as miscegenation and interracial marriages occurred. By the turn o f the twentieth century, the influence of the United States would yet again alter the cultural makeup of Puerto Rico (Cabn 2002) Colonialism and U.S. Imperialism Puerto Rico has a unique history with the U.S. in comparison to its Caribbean counterparts, as the only nation to become an incorporated territory in the aftermath of the Spanish American war. In the late eighteenth century Puerto Rico and Cuba were among the last two colonies still under Spanish rule. On July 25, 1898 the U.S. invaded Puerto Ri co in an attempt to gain control of the Caribbean island Rico, more than any other former Spanish possession, was the hapless victim of an explosive U.S. drive to assert military and naval hegemony in the Caribbean (Cab n 2002 35 ). T he U.S. became increasingly aware of Puerto Rico as a strategic advantage militarily, as well as economically. The i sland could potentially serve as a cultural link between the U.S. and Latin America. Juan Huyke, the first Puerto Rican education commission importa nt work of uniting the Americas ( USWD Annual Report 1929, 375). 1 The U.S. military moved quickl y to gain power over the i sland after realizing its potential profit. Spain ceded Puerto Rico to the U.S. in 1898 under the Treaty of Paris, and many Puerto Ricans believed that the U.S. would grant the i sland sovereignty. Rather than allow the small natio Rican peoples. 1 To find texts cited in original sources, refer to the series of Annual Repo rt of the Governor of Porto Rico ; addresses from Juan Huyke can also be found in Cabn (2002).
32 The Americanization process was far reaching and sought to replace Puerto Rican governmental, economic, and socio cultural ideologies with American values. The government was run by a string of various U.S. military leaders in the two short years following Spanish cession. The U.S. quickly asserted its dominance over Puerto Rico, establishing the Foraker Act of 1900, which called for a new civilian government. U.S. officials not o nly had their own interests in mind, but they believed Americanization policies wer e in the best interests of the island ers. These inhabitants, all of a foreign race and tongue, largely illiterate and without experience in conducting a government in accor dance with Anglo Saxon practice, or indeed to carry on any government, were not deemed to be fitted and qualified, unaided and without effective supervision, to fully appreciate the responsibilities and exercise the power of complete self government. (Gene ral George W. Davis Brigadier, 1909) The U.S. installed new branches of government including an executive council, House of Representatives, judicial system, and U.S. appointed governor. In addition, a non voting Resident Commissioner was placed in the U.S Congress to speak on behalf of the i sland This position still exists today, and unfortunately, remains a non voting seat. drastic measures such as replacing all Spanish ins truction within school systems with English. English language instruction within school systems was the primary focus of school system as an agent for Americanization (Cabn 2002, 133). The goal was to encourage American patriotism through training programs related to civic, social, and development issues, as well as courses in U.S. history. Evidence of the belief that English instruction would foster an acceptance of American values can be
33 found in statements from U.S. officials. The U.S. Secretary of War in 1920 people of Porto Rico are American citizens. Perhaps the most important factor in their complete Americanization is the sp reading of the English language (USWD Annual Report 1920, 54). Education Commissioner Brumbaugh (1907) business of the American republic, in its attempts to universalize its educational ideals in America, is to give these Spanish speaking races the symbols of the English language. colonizing Puerto Rico. (2002) study of the U.S. efforts to restructure the Puerto Rican education system provides an in depth examination of the Americanzat ion process and its limited successes. He argues that its shortcomings can be attributed to several factors. These include insufficient funds, low rates of enrollment among the school age population (less than 35.1% ) 2 and a high concentration of rural res idents (79 % million population) 3 most of whom were illiterate (70 % ) 4 These factors, in addition to some resistance among native populations, created tensions between U.S. and Puerto Rican cultural values. Economically, the U.S. soug ht to integrate Puerto Rico into its monetary system by replacing the peso with the dollar. The U.S. further asserted its dominance over the i sland by severely restricting its imports and exports and by controlling all treaties and tariffs. Puerto Ricans w ere strictly limited in their options and were confronted with a complete overhaul of their political, economic, and cultural institutions. Many of the 2 Figure taken from the USDW Annual Report 1917, 461 3 Figures taken from the USDW Annual Report 1914, 5 4 Figures taken from the USDW Annual Report 1914, 5
34 policies that the U.S. installed during its Americanization process were met with resistance, yet remain present today. The i sland shaped the way in which Puerto Ricans formed their identities. Incorporated T erritory Just nineteen years after Spain ceded Puerto Rico, U.S. citizenship, though met with some opposition, 5 wa s conferred onto all Puerto Ricans. The Jones Act of 1917 granted a statutory citizenship status, which is granted by law rather than by birth. 6 In other words, although it is unlikely that the Jones Act will be repealed in the foreseeable s no constitutional guarantee that U.S. citizenship will continue to be granted by Co ngress ( Puerto Rico Herald 1999). Provisions within the Jones Act detailed the rights and responsibilities of these new citizens; however, did not provide full voting rig hts, such as during presidential elections. The Jones Act is a classic example of U.S. imperialism in action. Citizenship has many implications for how an individual determines his/her identity and cannot be solely viewed as a legal status that grants rig hts and responsibilities. I argue that it does not create or promote a monolithic identity that unifies all citizens. For many Puerto Ricans, U.S. citizenship allows unrestricted travel b etween the mainland and i sland the opportunity to reside within the U.S., and easier access to po litical arenas within the U.S., as compared to other Latino groups ( DeSipio and Pantoja 1997 ) Puerto Ricans take advantage of these opportunities and yet, they have been hesitant 5 T hough the U.S. was met with sporadic opposition, mobilization persisted over the course of several decades. For additional readings on the success of opposition groups, refer to Lisa Garca Bedolla (2009). 6 To view the Jones Shafroth Act of 1917 in its entirety, refer to the Library of Congress.
35 to assimilate into American culture, as evidenc ed by Spanish retention. Interestingly, obtaining U.S. citizenship and maintaining a distinct Puerto Rican culture have not proven to be antithetical. Recent scholars such as Duany (2002) believe that transnationalism has helped to create a hybrid culture, one in which Puerto Ricans are able to negotiate their national and individual identities. I will discuss how middle class migratio n fits into this discussion in C hapter 3 and explore this idea of a multifaceted identity. Discourses on Identity Formation Benedict Anderson (2006, 6) suggesting that a substantial amount of people create the idea of nationhood based on mutual feelings of commonality, even though many of these people will never know or meet one a nother. Duany (2002, 8) states that within these imagined communities the unless it is recognized that all forms of identity are imagined, invented, and represented but no Duany (2002) argues that even though a national identity may be an imagined concept, it has real implications for how individuals perceive themselves and interact with others. National identity of Puert o Ricans has been analyzed through various intellectual lenses, such as nationalism, Insularism 7 and migration theory. Each of these discourses serves a function in understanding the various aspects of Puerto Rican identity. I suspect that middle class Pu erto Ricans are creating hybrid identities as a result of the increase in circular migration, unlike their lower class counterparts who are slower to learn English 7 Insularism was a term coined by Antonio Pedreira in 1932 to situate Puerto Rico within the intellectual discourse of Puerto Rican identity and was used until quite recently.
36 or identity with the U.S. Previous scholars have typically excluded the diaspora from the di scussion; however, with such a large portion of the diaspora moving between the mainland and i sland their inclusion is critical to understanding the formation of a national identity Nationalism Puerto Rican nationalism is quite unique from that of other nations due to the i sland allegiance and commitment to a sovereign nation and its political system (Anderson 2006) When discussing the nationalist discourse of the early 1930s, a distinct ion must be made between political and cultural nationalism. Political nationalism is based on the assumption that a nation has a sovereign government, whereas cultural nationalism is a sense of national consciousness exalting one nation above all others and placing primary emphasis on [the] promotion of its culture and interest 8 For many Puerto Ricans, nationalism and sovereignty are not mutually exclusive. Political nationalism to the commonwealth is a minority viewpoint; however, cultural nationalism holds true for most Puerto Ricans, including the diaspora. In the years following Americanization policies, nationalism took on a defensive stance, a protection of cultural values and norms against U.S. influence. There are documented cases of strikes and armed conflict between Puerto Rican nationalists and U.S. officials. The Spanish language became a fundamental component of cultural values in response to the implementation of English instruction within school systems. Likewise, the sustainability of Cath olicism, like language, became a defense against U.S. values (in this case Protestantism). 8 Merriam Webster Online Political Science Dictionary
37 The use of nationalism to define Puerto Rican identity can be critiqued on various levels. Most importantly, it sets up Puerto Rican and U.S. culture as antithetical to one another. Quite simply, this does not hold true for middle class migrants. Contemporary migrant groups are increasingly bilingual, as well as bicultural. Many migrants may feel that certain cultural aspects rooted in the i sland are more salient than American values, yet they acknowledge the influence of both when self identifying (2006 LNS) The idea that all Latinos are Catholic is a stereotype, sometimes reinforced by Latinos themselves to promote unity. Latinos, including Puerto Ricans, are not a homogenous group with nearly one fourth self identifying as Protestants (Espinosa et al. 2003) Nationalism homogenizes all Puerto Ricans, embracing an essentialist collective identity. Middle class migrants self identity on multiple dimensions such as gen der, sexual orientation, ethnicity, race, religion and other indicators. To suggest that middle class migrants create their collective identities based on a nationalist ideology is to ignore the complexities of the migrant experience. Insular ism The text I nsularismo (or Insularism) is one of, if not the, most classic studies written about Puerto Rican identity. Its author, Dr. Antonio Pedreira (1932) was greatly concerned about the cultural survival of Puerto Ricans in the 1930s. He posited the question of how Puerto Ricans collectively viewed themselves and in turn, how they were viewed internationally. Pedreira (1932) determined that three main factors contributed to their identity formation: (a) geographic isolation, (b) racial makeup, and (c) the legacy of being a culturally Hispanic colony. The i sland and small size greatly contributed to its dependence on Spain, and later the U.S.
38 (1932) work argues that while racial diversity and the historic precedence of Hispanic c ulture play an important role in Puerto Ricanness, the island (1932) framework, currently 70+ years old, still permeates the current discourse on Puerto Rican identity (Duany 2002) In sularismo is considered the foundation of contemporary studies on Puerto Ricanness; however, massive waves of transnational migration are challenging this. I agree with Duany (2002) of human behavio r and are a result of geographic reductionism. Duany (2002) argues that studying the complexities of Puerto Ricanness must now include the large diaspora, as well as the constant influx of circular migrants. His study on circular migrants suggests that Pue rto Ricans are creating new hybrid identities. I will discuss to what degree hybridity can be applied to middle class circular migrants. Hybridity The definition and application of the term hybridity has evolved from a simple term meaning mixture, to a c omplex theory on social interactions. The term hybridity originates from the biological sciences; animals and plants that are the offspring of two different breeds are considered hybrids. In the nineteenth century social scientists began applying the term to linguistics and racial theory to explain the mixing of languages and people. It was often applied in a negative light, inferring that bilingualism and racial mixing would lead to the degradation of a society (Brah and Coombes 2000) Dr. Homi Bhabha (200 4) was one of the first scholars to apply the term hybridity to (2004) working theory of cultural hybridity attempts to connect the influences of colonialism with present day globalization His work emerged as a critique of cultural imperialism, the idea that
39 one nation imposes its cultural values onto another nation. He argues that culture is not a rigid, fixed set of values. Bhabha (2004) states that the cultural influences that occur dur ing colonialism create multicultural identities. The influence of colonialism is ever present and ongoing in Puerto Rico as a result of the current commonwealth status. Puerto Rico has been exposed to U.S. culture for over a century. I argue that the cons tant flux of circular migration is also reinforcing (2004) working theory of multiculturalism. Puerto Rican identity cannot be explained without now including the impact of multiculturalism, or hybridity, i n contrast to the fixed, island bound con ception of identity posited by insularismo. Transnationalism Hernndez Cruz (1994) a Puerto Rican scholar, argues that the earliest migrants to leave the i sland were in the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries. Small numbers of Spaniards left the i sland in search of other Spanish colonies for better economic advancements The first example of a relatively large migration to Puerto Rico was African slaves in the eighteenth century. Between 1900 and 1901, Rosario Natal estimates that nearly 6,0 00 Puerto Ricans migrated to Hawaii (Natal 1990, 5) Estimates of early migrations indicate that small numbers of migrants were moving to and from the i sland nearly five centuries ago. The earliest migrants were the first transmitters of Puerto Rican cult ure. The large scale of migration in the twentieth century and current waves of circular migration are once more altering notions of cultural identity but in ways distinct from previous migrants.
40 Twentieth C entury Migration 1 900 s 1940s. I n the beginning of the twentieth century, Americanization policies drastically altered the Puerto Rican economy. As agricultural jobs disappeared under the industrialization process, rural Puerto Ricans gravitated towards urban cities. Unemployment increased and small nu mbers of Puerto Ricans began migrating to the United States in search of better economic stability ( Garca Bedolla 2009) Widespread poverty made early migration difficult for the average Puerto Rican and by 1920, there were roughly 5,000 Puerto Ricans liv ing in New York City. During WWI, an estimated 236,000 Puerto Ricans on the mainland and i sland registered for the draft, with roughly 18,000 serving (Pike 2010) Migration to the United States increased during WWI, as many Puerto Ricans went to the mainla nd to work in factories and serve in the mainland military units. The vast majority remained after WWI, taking up residence in working class Latino communities (Whalen and Vzques Hernndez 2005) The number of Puerto Rican soldiers in the U.S. military so ared during WWII, with estimates ranging from 250,000 to 500,000 (Pike 2010) In the 1940s migrants were transporting to the mainland by boat. Submarine warfare in the Caribbean stopped all migration, and it was not until the early 1950s that migration ren ewed on a large scale (Hernndez Cruz 1994) 1950 s 1980s Hernandez Cruz (1994) uses the 1980 Census to estimate that in the beginning of the 1950s 34,155 migrants either entered or exited Puerto Rico. By the end of the decade, more than 46,000 had exit ed. Migration to the mainland slowed in the 1960s as industrialization picked up, creating thousands of new jobs. Some years boasted higher
41 numbers of return Puerto Ricans migrants. In 1969, 1972, and 1976 record numbers of Puerto Ricans returned to Puert o Rico 7,047, 21,297 and 5,230 respectively. With the exception of 1972 and 1976, the years between 1971 through 1979 averaged 24,479 Puerto Ricans leaving the i sland in search of jobs. High numbers of migrants to the U.S. continued throughout the 1980s, with yearly averages of 38,184. Migrants in the 1980s boasted higher educational levels; however, interviews taken in 1990 by El Nuevo Dia, indicate that 1980s migrants were also in search of better job opportunities. 9 1980s 2000. onally been considered as a single, one way, an d permanent change of residence (Duany 2002, 208) 10 For the greater part of the twentieth century this definition of migration applied to Puerto Ricans. The economic cost associated with migration deterred ma ny from returning to the i sland and those who did were not likely to return to the U.S. Douglas Massey et al. (1998) agree that within intellectual circles even transnational migration is defined within this nineteenth century framework. The growing liter ature on circular migration must now include the Puerto Rican case. d oor migration) is characterizes the Ca ribbean region (Duany 2002, 208) Hernndez Cruz (1994), previously cited for his study on migratory trends of Puerto Ricans, viewed migration as a unidirectional move in which migrants would break ties from their home country and assimilate into the host country. However, 9 Data analysis completed by Hernndez Cruz p: 91 98. 10 See Pedraza and Rumbaut ( 1996 ) ; Portes and Rumbaut ( 1996).
42 technological advances in communication and transportation have made circular migration a reality for many Puerto Ricans. The acceleration of bidirectional migration has increased tremendously since the 1980s. Puerto Rican scholars are no w faced with the challenge of incorporating circular migration into the discourse of transnational migration. Transnational migrants are defined in terms of unidirectional patterns, whereas circular migrants travel in both directions. To leave out this gro up is to deny their influence on the changing nature of Puerto Rican identity. Concluding Thoughts By tracing the roots of Puerto Rican identity, starting with the introduction of African slaves by Spanish colonizers to the indigenous Tano population, th e rejection and incorporation of Americanization policies, and now the increasingly important phenomena of circular migration, it is quite clear that Puerto Rican identity is complex and continually evolving. To think of identity as a fixed concept, as one dimensional, is to misunderstand identity formation entirely. Within the last 20 years or so Puerto Rican scholars have been searching for alternative methods to study Puerto Rican identity. Duany (2002, 210) best captures the importance of including circ ular migration arguing cultural borders, such as those created by language, citizenship, race, ethnicity, and ng the conventional lines of nationhood (territorial, linguistic, jurisdictional). The importance of tracing intellectual discourses on identity formation was to understand how previous scholars have conceptualized national and cultural identity. A common shortcoming has been treating Puerto Ricans as a homogenous group. Past attempts to define a national culture have typically omitted racial and ethnic minorities
43 to de Americanism, racism, androcentrism, homophobi a, and more recently xenophobia (Duany 2002, 24). This is not to say that all scholars have ignored various class, race, ethnic, a nd gender differences, but unfortunately very few studies focusing on these individual categories of difference, within the Puerto Rican context, exist. Further research that highlights these areas will determine how circular migration fits into the discus sion of identity formation. Where one fits within a hierarchal class system can often account for perceived differences among race, ethnicity, educational levels, bilingualism, and gender differences. Class can be a useful tool in understanding national c ulture. It is common for scholars to conduct initial studies among lower and working classes, as they are easily accessible and tend to be less guarded about their social, economic, and political beliefs. Some preliminary studies on lower classes exist; th erefore, my research focuses on middle class migrants to determine their defini ng characteristics and look for consistency or lack of consistency between socio economic classes As circular migrants increasingly come from middle class families, it will be important to track how they are changing traditional notions of cultural identity.
44 CHAPTER 3 TRANSNATIONAL MIGRAT ION AND ENGLISH LANG UAGE ACQUISITION we commit the error of believing that to be proficient in English is an option and not a 1 Dr. Rossell Gonzlez, the Governor of Puerto Rico from 1993 to 2001, commenting on the importance of English language acquisition in La Voz (1999) unintentionally hinted at t he changes Puerto Ricans are making to their identity via language. 2 Spanish is still the dominant vernacular spoken on the i sland ; however, the increasing number of circular migrants bring with them English language skills. Language is a defining characte ristic of culture and identity. Many U.S. Latinos view Spanish as a marker of authenticity, believe that the second and third generations who only speak English are denying a part o f their cultural identity. Lisa Garca Bedolla, a political scientist and r esearcher of cultural identity, asserts that the Spanish language is an essential element in how Latinos identify ethnically. In a study conducted among Latinos a bout language and identity, Garca Bedolla (2003, 12) asks a Mexican woman about the importanc e of maintaining Spanish. The respondent replied: Yes it is important that they always maintain their language, whether they come from another country or are born here. It is important because we will always have our roots there, and one day we go and the child cannot speak with his grandmother, or with anyone. That is not correct, no? He can carry the two languages, and any other languages he can learn. If he learns all the languages, that is not a sin. That he forget our language, that is a sin. (Marta, M AS, 1st gen. Mexican) 1 Dr. Rossell Gonzlez ; to find original text in Spanish consult La Voz, "P roficiente bili nguismo necesario para el xito. 2 La Voz is a popular Puerto Rican n ewspaper
45 response is typical of many first generation Latinos and can be applied to the Puerto Rican case. Many Puerto Ricans, especially circular migrants, understand and accept that English language skills are essential to educationa l and socioeconomic advancement within the U.S. and increasingly so within Puerto Rico. While they accept an increasingly bilingual population, they preserve their cultural identity through the main tenance of Spanish. As noted above, language is a key char acteristic of identity; therefore, I presuppose that with the increase of bilingualism, middle class circular migrants are creating hybrid identities and altering the cultural identity of those on the i sland and mainland. I test this hypothesis using ethno graphic interviews and the 2006 Latino National Survey. A combination of qualitative and quantitative analysis is used in determining levels of transnationalism, as well as the role of language in identity formation. Transnationalism Qualitative Research P revious studies on Puerto Rican migration have attributed the root causes of migration to the U.S. as a result of economic difficulty, prolonged unemployment, U.S. recruitment, and family reunification. The causes cited for returning to the i sland often in clude dissatisfaction or misconceptions about life in the U.S. and family reunification, as opposed to the inability to find stable work (Hernndez Cruz 1994) Due to the relative economic stability of the middle class, I expect to find that the respondent s were motivated to migrate to the U.S. and back by non economic factors I also expect these circular migrants to cite familial ties or cultural preferences as the main reasons for
46 moving, regardless of the direction. The following questions were asked in regards to migration and economic stability 3 : What were the main factors that contributed to your move to the United States? What were the main factors that contributed to your return to Puerto Rico? Would you consider moving back to the United States? Ex plain. Were you employed in Puerto Rico prior to your first move to the United States? If yes, in what field? If no, how did you supplement your income? While living in the United States, were you employed? If yes, in what field? If no, how did you supplem ent your income? Were you able to find employment once you returned to Puerto Rico? If you become unemployed in the future, would you consider moving back to the United States? Factors in migration to the U.S. Contrary to my initial thoughts, respondents cited job opportunities and the desire for a better quality of life as the top reasons for their primary move to the U.S. The second highest answer was military service, followed closely by education and familial obligations. About half of those who gave job opportunities as a reason also indicated that the move was involuntary; their parents were in search of economic betterment and their children (the respondent) moved with them. This can be read in two ways. One interpretation is that the initial move c an be categorized under familial obligation. The other interpretation coincides with the mass migrations of the 1980s. The majority of respondents who moved with their parents did so in the 1980s. I subtracted the birth dates of those same respondents to t he year 1985 to test whether or not the respondents were teenagers during the 1980s. For example, if Lucia said she was, she 3 To find the questionnaire in its entirety, refer to Appendix A for English and Appendix B for Spanish.
47 was born in 1974. Therefore, in 1985 Lucia was 11, making her a (pre)teenager (a minor) during her first move. Almost every teenage r who moved with a parent(s) in the 1980s did so for the economic advancement of the family. I asked respondents to list the main factors that contributed to their initial move to the U.S was a common reply Annalisse: My parents took us to the U.S., because they were looking for better opportunities and a better way of life. Factors in return migration. Motivations for moving back to Puerto Rico proved to be quite different from the primary reasons to leave. Almost all respondents ci ted family as the main factor for returning, naming health related issues and missing familial connectedness as major components. A few indicated they had obtained better job opportunities, and even less cited the U.S. as too costly. The one factor that ca me as a surprise is the lack of perceived discrimination and violence (against Latinos) in the U.S. Only one respondent indicated this as a primary reason for leaving. A few mentioned they had experienced discrimination; however, the topic was almost absen t from the interviews. The overwhelming majority of respondents listed missing family members, or obligations to care for family members as the primary reaso n for returning. 4 Osvaldo: As a family, we came back to Puerto Rico, because my grandmother was ve ry ill, and m y father wanted to care for her Lucia : My father wanted my brother and I to spend more time with our family elaborate, I often heard stories of nostalgia fo r life on the i sland and longing to be with 4 Personal Interviews
48 family members. Family ties are an integral part of Puerto Rican culture, and many migrants will return to the i sland for those ties, not because of downward mobility. Weighing u nemployment. The question of whet he r a respondent would consider moving back to the U.S. was asked two separate times during the interview. The first time was directly following a series of questions about motivations for moving to and from the U.S. The second time was after a series of q uestions related to language, politics, and economics. The The second question included the possibility of a in the future, would you c onsider moving back to the United States? question, tied to job loss, was to draw out any evidence of middle class migrants moving for economic factors. The first time the question was asked one third responded no, while two thirds responded ma ybe or yes. The second time the rephrased question was asked a slight shift towards the affirmative occurred. The slight shift indicates that middle class Puerto Ricans, much like the ir working class counterparts can be motivated to migrate based on econo mic factors. This slight shift in attitudes can be seen in these two responses: Christina : That is a hard question; because I have all my friends there and my O nly for that reason would I move back. I find that every time I return back to the U.S. it changes for the worse. I can no longer take the hustle and bustle in the U.S. It seems as if everyone is either too busy or too mad to even say hello or good morning. It has changed so much from 20 years ago. I wouldn 5 5 Response to question 1
49 Christina: I would have to think about it It would not be my option. The U.S. is just if not worse than we (Puerto Ricans) are right now as far as the job market goes. 6 In the first response Christina weighs hers options and decides that she would only move because of familial ties. In the second response she rethinks her position and opens up the possibility of future migration, in the event that s he lost her job in Puerto Rico. Downward mobility. Within the econo mic section of the survey participants were asked about their employment history in both the U.S. and Puerto Rico. Those who were unemployed were asked how they supplemented their income. Ninety nine percent who listed unemployment were minors at the time of their first migration to the U.S. and were supported by their parent(s). Those who were employed in Puerto Rico (prior to migrating) listed jobs such as educators, social workers, and receptionists. The same participants listed their jobs in the U.S as factory workers, baby sitters, Spanish teachers, and student counselors. A general downward mobility in class occurs when (middle class) migrants move to the U.S. 7 This downward mobility occurs in spite of increased bilingualism among Puerto Ricans. Perhap s other factors, such as discrimination, are at play. The constant flux of circular migration makes it difficult to measure the level of intersectionalty among Puerto Ricans. 8 6 Response to question 2 7 8 constructed categories of identity (gender, class, race, etc) simultaneously interact ing and reflecting various levels of societal discrimination.
50 While interviewing respondents, the issue of perceived discrimination was relat ively low. Of those who stated they had experienced discrimination, their accounts seemed to indicate indirect confrontation. While I did not include a series that directly asked about experiences of discrimination, the issue arose when asking respondents such respondent stated: Wilfredo: I am sure when you walk into a white neighborhood to buy a house or into a restaurant in the white part of town, they do not stare at y ou because they are ut this issue of perceived discrimination should be included in future research to account for any variation between lower and middle class migrants Quantitative Resea rch The 2006 Latino National Survey (LNS) contains 8,364 interviews taken from self ide ntified Latinos or Hispanics in the U.S The LNS website includes a user friendly Survey Documentation and Analysis (SDA) system which enables users to conduct statistical analyses such as bivariate cross tabulation, multiple regression, and analysis of va riance. The majority of tests included in the study are bivariate cross tabulations. For the purposes of this study, only the respondents who self identified as being of Puerto Rican ancestry were included. The survey asks respondents of Latino or Hispani c origin to indicate which country they trace their Latino heritage to. Within the from, other than the United States. The respondents who traced their Latino heritage to Pue rto Rico are coded as 17. Tables 3 1, 3 2, 3 3, 3 5, 3 6 and 3 7 control for the
51 country code. In addition, age and income were included as controls. The age range was selected from 18 to 65 in all tables. The variable income controlled for middle class w ages from $35,000 to $65,000. The income variable was controlled for in T ables 3 1, 3 2, 3 3, 3 5 and 3 6 Tables 3 1, 3 2, 3 3, 3 6, and 3 7 include the country where the respondent was born. These sections are divided into three categories: mainland U.S ., Puerto Rico, and other. for this reason country of birth is included. The second reason for including country of birth is to single out circular migrants. The survey does not ask the participants to specify if they are circular migrants or not; however, it does include questions about the frequency of contact with family and friends on the island frequency of visiting, and plans to return permanently. These are all good indic ators of behavioral and attitudinal traits of circular migrants Contact. As the frequency of contact between a transnational migrant and his/her family members or friends in the sending community increases, the active maintenance of the culture increases The facilitation of contact has increased tremendously within the past few decades as technology has made communication readily available. Forms of contact can include phone calls, email, internet chats, blogs, and mail, to name a few. Regardless of the method of contact, it is obvious that Puerto Rican migrant s keep in close contact with those on the i sland An astonishing 57.8% of Puerto Rican born migrants communicate with island ers more than once a week. Th e percentage for U.S. born (25% ) is also qui te high. The Pew Hispanic Center released a study in 2007 with estimates that 4.1 million Puerto
5 2 Table 3 1 Contact with family and friends in P.R. by b irthplace Once a week or more Once a month or more Once every several months Never Know N of Ca ses TOTAL Mainland U S 25.0 20.7 26.1 27.2 1.1 92 100.0 Puerto Rico 57.8 21.1 13.3 7.8 .0 90 100.0 Other 35.7 50.0 7.1 .0 7.1 14 100.0 Source: LNS 2006 Valid Cases 196 P = 0.00 ChiSq = 8 Ricans live in the U.S. Accor ding to the findings in T able 3 1 more than 75 % of middle income Puerto Ricans report keeping in contact with friends and family once every few months or more. Visit frequency The frequency with which Puerto Ricans who are residing in the U.S. travel back and forth between Puerto Rico and the U.S. indicates how many times per year respondents cross cultural borders. Each time a Puerto Rican crosses the cultural border between the U.S. and Puerto Rico, he/she is sharing information, ideas, cultural values, norms, and customs, or what the can be argued that increased exposure to both American and Puerto Rican culture contributes to multiculturalism, rather th an a zero sum tradeoff. Table 3 2 compares the frequency of visits to Puerto Rico by Latinos of Puerto Rican descent who were born in the U.S. verses those born on the i sland Of the Puerto Ricans who were born in the U.S. mainland, 27.2% report never visiting Puerto Rico, closely followed by once in the past three years (20.7 % ) and more than five years ago (19.6 % ). Still, a sizeable percent age (16.3 % ) report visiting the i sland at least once a year. As for those born on the i sland the frequency of visits is
53 substantially higher. The majority visit between once a year (24.4% ) and once ev ery three years (22.2 %). More than 18% visit more than one time per year. On average, 60.5% of middle income Puerto Ricans currently living in the U.S. return to visit Puerto Rico once or more every three years. In other words, over one million Puerto Rica ns are entering and exiting the small island every three years. Table 3 2 Frequency of visits to Puerto Rico by b irthplace More than once a year Once a Year Once in the past three years Once in the past five years More than five years ago Never N of Ca ses TOTAL Mainland U S 7.6 16.3 20.7 8.7 19.6 27.2 92 100.0 Puerto Rico 18.9 24.4 22.2 10.0 14.4 10.0 90 100.0 Other 21.4 21.4 28.6 21.4 .0 7.1 14 100.0 Source: LNS 2006 Valid Cases 196 P = 0.01 Chi sq = 22.45 Permanent movement. Studies of Caribbea n migrant groups show that most migrants who keep up transnational ties leave open the possibility of moving back to the home country. This is also known as the exit option, or myth of return, typically one that is never realized (Rogers 2006) This exit o ption has multiple political implications for how migrants engage and disengage in U.S. politics, but less is known about the cultural ramifications. It can be argued that when a migrant keeps transnational ties to the home country and has the option of re turning, they are more likely to maintain aspects of their native cultural identity.
54 Table 3 3 Plans to live in Puerto Rico permanently by b irthplace Yes No N of Cases TOTAL Mainland U S 10.9 88.0 1.1 92 100.0 Puerto Rico 23.3 71.1 5.6 90 100.0 Other 28.6 57.1 7.1 14 100.0 Source: LNS 2006 Valid Cases 196 P = 0.00 ChiSq = 23.56 The Puerto Rican case presents an interesting challenge to the exit option. The majority of transnational migrants never permanently return to the home country whereas a substantial number of Puerto Ricans do, due to their legal means to do so. Not only do they return to their home country, but they inverse the original exit option concept, leaving open the optio n to return to the U.S. Table 3 3 is a snapshot v iew of how many middle class Puerto Ricans plan to permanently return to Puerto Rico. Unsurprisingly, those born on the i sland are more than twice as likely to have plans to how the le vel of uncertainty that exists. Language and Identity Qualitative Research In my qualitative interviews, the respondents were asked seven questions about the role that Spanish and English play in their everyday lives, and the lives of their child ren. The purpose of the questions were to determine the level of bilingualism among middle class migrants, the importance of maintaining the Spanish language whether living in the U.S. or in Puerto Rico, attitudes about English acquisition and finally, how Spanish is tied to Puerto Rican cultural and national identity. The following questions were asked:
55 Did you learn English before you moved to the U.S, while you lived there, or neither? Would you consider yourself bilingual? Do you have any children? If so, are they bilingual? Do you speak Spanish, English, or both languages at home? If you had remained in the U.S., how important would it have been to continue speaking Spanish? How is speaking Spanish an aspect of your identity as a Puerto Rican? How do you feel about mandatory English instruction within Spanish school systems? Measuring b ilingualism Puerto Ricans view the role of language and how they would like others to perce ive them. Almost all of the respondents considered themselves to be bilingual, though the level of bilingualism varied greatly. Of those who self identified as bilingual, about one third are considered proficient or fluent, with high levels of oral and wri tten skills. One third are able to communicate using mostly English, inserting Spanish or Spanglish words when the English idiom was unknown or the respondent felt that a Spanish word better conveyed the meaning (also known as code switching). The remainin g one third could understand English but had difficultly responding. I was unable to determine the level of proficiency among those who chose to conduct the interview in Spanish. The majority of respondents with children indicated that their offspring are also bilingual, and typically, at higher levels of proficiency than the parent. To illustrate this point, I will include brief excerpts from three separate interviews where the respondents referred to the level of bil ingualism among family members.
56 Wilfred o : My three daughters are bilingual. We speak mostly Spanish, but sometimes revert to English when the phrases seem more appropriate [in English]. Julia : Yes, I have children, and they are bilingual. When they speak to me, they h their father, they speak in Spanish because even though he can speak and understand English, he does not Carmen: My parents and siblings are bilingual. I speak Spanish with my parent s and English with my siblings. People tend to speak the language they are most familiar and comfortable with within the privacy of their own homes and among family members. The younger respondents in my study not only indicated their ability to speak English with ease but their ownership over the language. The respondents are given the option to conduct the interview in Spanish or English, 44.1% choosing English. Those most likely to choose English were between the ages of 18 and 30, while those 45 and above are more likely to choose Spanish. T he younger participants within the sample are more comfortable speaking Table 3 4 language p reference by a ge Age Range English Spanish N of Cases Total % 18 30 100.0 -9 100.0 30 40 100.0 -1 100.0 40 50 60.0 40.0 5 100.0 50 60 28.6 71.4 7 100.0 60+ -100.0 12 100.0 Source: Personal Interviews, Puerto Rico. Summer of 2010 English than their older counterparts, and typically have higher levels of English proficiency. There is some variance within the 40 to 50 and 50 to 60 age groups with 60 % and 28.6 % choosing English, respectively. The preference for Spanish is positively 4 for a breakdown of age versus language preference. There are a total of 34 participants, with the largest g roup of
57 participants split between the youngest category, 18 to 30 year olds (9 cases), and the oldest category, 60 years or older (12 cases). Spanish maintenance In order to gauge the connection between the Spanish language and Puerto Rican identity, I asked about the importance of speaking Spanish in everyday conversations, on the i sland and mainland. Puerto Ricans not only maintain their language in the U.S., but ensure its survival through their children. Natalia: When we moved to the U.S. my parents especially my father, always made it a point to speak to us in Spanish. He also made it a rule that we could not speak English at home. We were to speak English out of the home and Spanish always in the home. I applied the same rule when we moved to P.R. with my children, but it was the other way around. They were to speak English always in the home and Spanish out of the home. This particular interview made clear the distinct roles that Spanish and English play in the everyday lives of circular Puerto Rican migrants. They associate Spanish with Puerto Ricanness and English with American values. Rather than reject their language in the U.S. or English upon return, these migrants understand the increased benefits of bilingualism. Not only are they acquiri ng new skills, but they are accepting aspects of the American culture. Many respondents felt that maintaining Spanish was also a way to tie them to their families and communities. When asked the same series of questions Mara not only linked Spanish to he r culture, but to a set of family values and belongi ng. Maria: Our roots are important and our language is sacred, just like our heritage. We should never be ashamed to speak our language, but we should be ashamed when we are not able to speak it. Not teac hing your child their native language is like depriving them of part of their culture. It is sad and shameful that a child back in the cannot speak Spanish.
58 The importance of family is a central theme within the Puerto Rican community and many migrants feel that maintaining their language is way to stay connected and plugged in to their home countries. Interestingly, Mara responded to this question in English. Her response not only signifies a high level of bilingualism, but her ability to navigate the importance of both English and Spanish. Attitudes. I was able to gauge attitudes towards language skills through various questions on culture, identity, bilingualism, etc.; h owever, I was specifically interested in how the responses would vary when I inquired about English instruction within the Puerto Rican school systems. Instruction is in Spanish, but children are taught English as a second language and are assigned various homework tasks that incorporate English. The major division of language occurs at the university level, where instruction is in Spanish, but all textbooks are in English. Students who wish to further their academic careers must be proficient in both Engli sh and Spanish, unless they enroll in a Spanish language university. The older respondents felt that English instruction was a useful tool that could lead to economic advancement. Many indicated that English was becoming more commonly used on the i sland a nd that the younger generations were showing more signs of bilingualism. The benefits of English language skills within the job market, as well i sland into a bilingual nation. Spanish cultu re and identity The respondents were asked multiple questions about Spanish usage in the U.S. and the words/phrases most frequently used to describe the importance of speaking
59 asked about the use of Spanish in the U.S., Jorge replied Jorge: El espaol es nuestro idioma principal y parte de nuestra identidad y cultura. An cuando voy a los E.E.U.U, utilizo el ingl s solo para comunicarme con las personas que no entienden espa [ Spanish is our first language and a part of our identity and culture. Whenever I go to the U.S., I only use Jorge sees Spanish as a fundamental aspect of his culture, whereas English is a language skill. Again, the increased level of bilingualism indicates a strong desire to maintain a Puerto Rican identity. I asked Maria if Spanish was specifically tied to her identity as a Puerto Rican. Her response echoes t hat of many ci rcular migrants. Maria: It is part of who we are. It is like arroz and gandules with pasteles for Christmas! 9 It is what makes us unique, but at the same time it is what unites us with other (Latino) cultures. Spanish may sound the same to t hose who do not know the language, but the Spanish spoken in Puerto Rico is not the same Spanish spoken in Mexico or in Santo Domingo or Spain. Mar a sees herself and other Puerto Ricans as tied together by a shared language. Just as Maria sees Spanish as a cultural tie to other Spanish speakers, it could be argued that as these migrants learn English, they feel a sense of connectedness with other English speakers, namely U.S. Americans. Quantitative Research Measuring b ilingualism Using th e same SDA meth ods for T ables 3 1, 3 2, and 3 3, the next ser ies of T ables (3 5 and 3 6 ) aim to measure how middle class Puerto Ricans respond to questions about maintaining Spanish and the rising level of bilingualism. The ability to 9
60 speak and understand English by nati ve Spanish speakers is becoming an essential skill necessary to advance economically. The connection between income and bilingualism is readily apparent. The majority of low income earners, those who earned Table 3 5 Ability to understand and speak Engl ish by i ncome BELOW $15k $15 k 24,999 $25 k 34,999 $35 k 44,999 $45 k 54,999 $55 k 64,999 Above $65,000 Not at all 17.1 3.1 7.7 10.3 .0 .0 .0 Just a little 43.9 46.9 46.2 13.8 7.1 .0 14.8 Pretty well 22.0 21.9 34.6 31.0 64.3 16.7 25.9 Very well 17 .1 28.1 11.5 44.8 28.6 83.3 59.3 Total 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 N of Cases 41 32 26 29 14 12 27 Source: LNS 2006 Valid Cases 10 225 P = 0.00 Chi Sq = 61.05 below $15,000 per year, rated their ability to speak and understand English just a % ) The majority of high income earners, those who earned above $65,000 per year, reported their ability to speak and understand English % ) Upper m iddle class income earners who earned $55,000 to $64,999 per year, reported % ). Lower and middle class income earners, who earned $35,000 to $44,999 and $45,000 to $54,999, reported high levels of ability of speak and understand English, res ponding at 44.8 % at 64.3 % respectively. While the highest level of % ), there is 10
61 general trend that indicates the more income a participant earned the gr eater skill he/she has in English. Spanish m aintenance Table 3 6 asks participants to rate the importance of maintaining Spanish on a four point scale, from not at all important to very important. What was interesting about this particular model was that when I ran the cross tabulation including all middle income Table 3 6 Importance to maintain Spanish language by b irthplace Not at all important Not very important Somewhat important Very Important N of Cases TOTAL Mainland U S 2.1 3.5 16.6 77.9 28 9 100.0 Puerto Rico .9 1.8 9.2 88.1 336 100.0 Other .0 .0 6.4 93.6 47 100.0 Source: LNS 2006 Valid Cases 672 P = 0.01 Chi Sq = 16.16 g roups, the only income group that was statistically significant ranged from $45,000 to $54,000. When I included other c ontrols for middle class incomes ranging from $30,000 to $45,000 and $55,000 to $65,000, the model was no longer statistically significant. While this model provides information on a portion of middle income holders, it does not account for all middle clas s groups. Table 3 6 provides evidence in support of the following claim: maintaining Spanish is very importance to a vast majority of Puerto Ricans, regardless of birthplace. Over 88 % % of t A very small minority (3.0 % Political identity. Measuring political identity can provide clues as to how Puerto Ricans will be incorporate d into the American poli tical system if they choose to maintain a permanent
62 residence identity after a return trip to the i sland 11 Testing the level of political interest among return migrants may pro vide some clues as to how they will eng age in future politics. Table 3 7 is an analysis of the level of political interest among Puerto Ricans born in the How interested are you in politics and public affairs ? Would you say you are very interested, somewhat interested, or not at all interested? Table 3 7 Level of interest in politics and public a ffairs by b irthplace Not Interested Somewhat Interested Very Interested N of Cases TOTAL Mainland U S 19.0 52.6 26.6 289 100.0 Puerto Rico 28 0 42.9 25.3 336 100.0 Other 34.0 40.4 25.5 47 100.0 Source: LNS 2006 Valid Cases 12 672 P = 0.03 Chi Sq = 17.02 13 In C hapter 4 I discuss possible political implications of middle class return migrants within Puerto Rico. Concluding Thoughts The initial goal of combing studies on transnational ties and language was to examine how they were both connected to cultural identity. I concluded that they were not only significantly contributing to how migrants think of identity, but how they conceptualize the functions of language and movement in relation to identity. The thr ee 11 Permanent residence does not refer to a legal status in this instance. 12 Number of valid cases does not control for income. When the control for income was introduced into the model, the analysis was no longer statistically significant. 13 % of the total sample and therefore, excluded from Table 3 7.
63 concepts intertwine on multiple levels. I was able to trace how transnationalism leads to further language acquisition, which alters notions of identity. The re lationship is not linear, or uni directional, however National identity alters perceptions o f cultural identity, which includes language. These can shape the decisions and movements of circular migrants. I found that the cultural identity of Puerto Rican circular migrants is becoming increasingly complex, not only for the migrants themselves, but for Puerto Ricans in general. By singling out middle class migrants, I was able to provide an analysis on a specific group and weigh their decisions against the whole. By comparing the findings on middle class migrants to previous studies on lower class m igrants, I was able to find some continuity between the two. The main similarity is the use of English as a tool of economic advancement. The groups differ, however, in how they perceive the effects of English on their culture. The studies conducted on low er classes show that these migrants tend to view English as simply a tool to be utilized, not a value that can be incorporated into cultural identity. Middle class migrants, on the other hand, display higher levels of bilingualism and emphasize the importa nce of teaching both English and Spanish to their children. The respondents identified language as an important aspect of cultural identity. Younger generations, as well as the children of the respondents, are learning English at the same time they learn S panish. They are not treating English as simply a tool, but part of their cultural makeup. Both languages are tied to various aspects of cultural identity. The acceptance of English as a cultural marker among middle class migrants and not lower class migr ants cannot entirely be attributed to levels of bilingualism. Other
64 factors, such as perceived discrimination, should be taken into account. The absence of perceived discrimination among middle class migrants provides some insight. Lower class migrants, wh o more readily identify as racially black, display high levels of perceived discrimination within the U.S. Perhaps views towards English (and therefore American values) are impacted by experiences of discrimination in the U.S. It can be argued that middle class migrants, who experience low levels of discrimination, are less likely to reject American values such as English. Additional studies that test for perceived discrimination among middle class Puerto Ricans would help explain why these migrants deviate from their lower class counterparts. The way in which Puerto Ricans, on and off the i sland construct their cultural and national identity is being shaped by middle class circular migrants. These migrant groups are increasingly bilingual, and see English and Spanish as tied to identity. Younger and subsequent generations are more likely to identify English as an intrinsic value, rather than an economic tool. As this pattern continues, circular migrants will increasingly identify with English and move towa rds bicultural identities.
65 CHAPTER 4 CONCLUSION The goals of this study are to determine how middle class Puerto Rican return migrants are constructing their cultural and national identity. I argue that these migrants are creating hybrid identities as a result of their unique migratory patterns and relationship with the U.S. In order to test my hypothesis, I conduct ed a multi method and multi site analysis. I conduct ed 35 semi structured ethnographic interviews to determine how Puerto Rican migrants defin e concepts such as cultural, national, and political identity. I ask ed respondents to detail the importance of maintaining transnational ties and language as a proxy for or an element of cultural and national identity In addition, I use d the 2006 LNS dat aset to test for levels of transnationalism and bilingualism. These methods were combined to present findings that are representative of the largest possible demographic. Major Findings The major findings of the study indicate that middle class migrants ar e creating hybrid identities by maintaining dual allegiances to both the U.S. and Puerto Rico. I foun d evidence of high levels of transnationalism and bilingualism, which were both used to measure cultural ties and ultimately, how these migrants construct their identity. In order to gauge levels of transnationalism I test ed the level of contact with family members and friends in Puerto Rico, the frequency of visits to Puerto Rico, and plans to permanently live in Puerto Rico. These tests control led for Puer to Ricans born in the United States compared to those born on the i sland to determine whether Puerto Rican natives are creating dual identities. In addition, I ask ed respondents about major factors in migration (both directions), and desires to return to t he U.S. In order to gauge levels
66 of bilingualism I test ed the importance of maintaining Spanish in the U.S. and the ability to understand and speak English across income. Additionally, I ask ed respondents abo ut English language acquisition and how stron g l anguage is tied to identity. Finally, I measured interest in political and public affairs by birthplace to determine if political culture plays an important role in the identity formation of return migrants. Transnationalism The LNS analyses indicated hig h levels of transnationalism among these middle class migrants. Contact between migrants and their family and friends in Puerto Rico is quite high, with 58.7 % frequency of visits is particularl y important to measure as these visits can amount to the transfer of social remittances (Levitt 2001) Puerto Rican migrants travel to the i sland frequently, with 18.9 % % Only 10 % % of Puerto Ricans who make trips between the i sland and mainland at least every five years. There are approximately 4.1 million Puerto Rican residing in the U.S., meaning almost 3.7 million middle class migrants are transmitt ing cultural values between the i sland and mainland 1 As for plans to live in Puerto Rico permanently, those born on the i sland are twice as likely as % to 10.9 % respectively). Interviews cond ucted in Puerto Rico resulted in sim ilar findings. My research suggested that Puerto Rican migrants initially move to the U.S. in search of better job opportunities, whereas the factors in returning are centered on familial ties and 1 Figures do not include permanent Puerto Rican residents who travel to the U. S
67 obligations. I found th at migrants are able to find employment after moving to the U.S.; however, many experience a downward social mobility. Many indicated a desire to r eturn to the U.S. in the future. Surprisingly, perceived discrimination was not a factor in returning to the i sland Bilingualism. The LNS analyses that measure the importance of Spanish maintenance and English acquisition among middle class migrants indicate high levels in both tests. When asked to indicate the level of importance for maintaining Spanish, thos e born on the i sland at 88.1 % Similarly, the vast majority of those born in the U % By cont rast, only .9 % of i sland b orn and 2.1 % of mainland born migrants determine the importance of working class Puerto Rican migrants associate the Spanish language with Puerto Rican culture. The same claim can be made of middle class migrants. Because language is s trongly associated with identity, I measure the ability to understand and speak English across income brackets. By doing so I am able to provide a language acquisition comparison of middle class migrants to their lower and upper class counterparts. Unsurpr isingly, as income increases the ability to understand and speak English increases. The largest subset that mark ed income earners of $55 ,000 to $ 64,999 at 83.3 % The income bracket $45 ,000 to $ 54,999 also have significant English langu age skills, 28.6 % 64.3 % On average, 45.6 % of income earners below $35,000 mark class income earners have high levels of English skills.
68 The interviews allow me to establish the importance of Spanish as a marker of Puerto Rican identity, as well as the importance of English, not only as a tool for economic advanc ement, but as a cultural value. I am interested in determining the English, attitudes towards English instruction within school systems, and the connection between language, culture, and identity. The most significant finding is that while older respondents associate English with job skills, younger respondents are beginning to view English as a U.S. cultural value. The shift from viewing English as a utilitarian value to a cultural one may be the result of when the respondent learns English, and under what context. Respondents between the ages of 35 and 65 frequently asserted that learning English was necessary to obtain better employment and higher education. They were aware of the economic benefits of bilingualism and ensured that t heir children would too be bilingual speakers. Their offspring, however, are being raised under very different settings. Many members of this second generation are learning English at the same time as Spa nish and do not distinguish one as a cultural value and the other as an utilitarian value, as their parents have. They are also learning both languages across national borders which enables them to assign cultural values to both languages. Future studies that follow this generation and other young bilingual speakers will help provide evidence on the formation of hybrid identities among return migrants Limitations Within any given study research will be conducted with a specific agenda and goal, though biases will (hopefully) be kept to a minimum. This stud y was conducted with the goal of contributing to the current debate on Puerto Rican migration and
69 broadening our understanding of the complexities of identity formation. I was able to control for a specific socioeconomic class and use that cross section to complicate the homogenous views surrounding Puerto Rican return migration. By doing so, I was able to provide a more in depth understanding of hybridity in the Puerto Rican context. The study I present is a first step towards understanding this phenomenon and due to various limitations is not generalizable for all middle class return migrants. An important limitation can be attributed to the time frame under which the research was conducted. I was able to conduct 35 semi structured interviews within a six week period, reaching a point of saturation. 2 Due to strict time limits I was unable to conduct follow up interviews. In light of the importance of age and familial ties, it would have been beneficial to conduct interviews with entire family units to dete rmine differences between generations. As a native English speaker from the U.S., I found that respondents were increasingly interested in determining my own nationality before answering questions; I cannot be sure if this was done for the purpose of tail oring answers or to determine if I was trustworthy. I offered to conduct interviews in both Spanish and English to encourage respondents to parti cipate, though I felt a native Puerto Rican speaker/translator would have been better able to determine colloqu ialisms, as well as establish trust. These key insights would have been beneficial during the i nterviews conducted in Spanish. 2 Point of saturation: p oint at which no new information is being presented.
70 Situating F indings within the L iterature and Contributions The current theories on Puerto Rican transnational migration try to ad dress how identity and nationhood are conceptualized within the Puerto Rican context. The theories discuss how Puerto Rican migrant s as U.S. citizens represent an outlier compared to traditional migrant groups. The theories also focus on three main areas o f Puerto Rican migration: citizenship and political identity, nationhood in terms of territory and language, and the increasing importance of transnational ties as a result the i sland The phenomenon of circular migrati on is a relatively new pattern in terms of volume and frequency. Duany (2002) is a leading scholar on Puerto Rican circular migration, and his work has influenced how Puerto Rican migrants are characterized. Several theorists have tried to explain Puerto R ican migration using various models, such as the dual economy theory, a gendered approach, and assimilationist theory; (2002) theory on circular migration best explains the Puerto Rican case. His work tends to take a broad vie w of Puerto Rican migration, defining cultural identity based on the large diaspora within the U.S., and on those within Puerto Rico. He makes the argument that bilingualism is an increasing necessity for Puerto Ricans, and the boundaries (i.e. territorial linguistic, and juridical) that divide Puerto Rican culture from U.S. are becoming increasingly blurred with the increase of circular migration (2002, 211). asserts that their mobilization onceptions of cultural identity (2002, 219). s work is based on a sample of island ers who circulate between the
71 U.S. and Puerto Rico, but he cautions not to generalize his findings to the entire migrant population. My study attempts to address this gap in two important ways. First, I conduct a multi sited study that incorporates migrants living in both the U.S. and Puerto Rico. This approach tries to represent both groups by exploring quantitative analysis taken from m ainland residents and qualitative interviews among Puerto Rican residents. Although the migrant groups are surveyed using different methodologies, previous research suggests that circular migrants on the i sland versus the mainland do not differ substantial ly in terms of basic characteristics, such as gender and occupation (Olmeda 1997) The second gap my study addresses is the lack of information on Puerto Rican return migrants by socioeconomic class. The large migrant waves of the 1950s and 1980s are char acterized by a one directional flow, from the i sland to mainland. Migrants were typically from working class backgrounds and once settled in the U.S. rarely returned to Puerto Rico (to live). The late 20 th and 21 st centuries have experienced two important shifts. First, a significant increase in middle class migrants altered the demographic. Second, these middle class migrants participated in circular migration, perhaps due to their economic means to do so. The discussion of Puerto Rican migration tends to only address the one directional flows of working class migration. Middle class return migrants now constitute a substantial percent age of Puerto Ricans who migrate each year. 3 Their inclusion in the stud y of Puerto Rican migration is necessary due to the increased levels of transnationalism and bilingualism, which I 3 Refer to Table 3 2 and 3 3.
72 argue, are altering traditional notions of cultural identity. My study provides a preliminary look into the creation of hybrid identities. Political Implications colony (1898) and later a free associated state, or commonwealth (1950), has been the center of intense debate within Puerto Rican politics for over a century. Over the course of multiple referenda Puerto Ricans have had the option to vote for independenc e, to remain a commonwealth, or to become the issue of sovereignty. The influence of working class migrants on Pue rto Rican political parties has been relatively min or, or virtually non existent as they typically settle within the U.S. As middle class migrants continue to form hybrid identities and participate in Puerto Rican politics, their dual allegiances may alter Puerto Rican political parties. A brief discussio n of the three major referenda will illustrate the importance of Puerto Three Plebiscites: 1967, 1993, 1998 1967 Referendum. There was much debate about the status of Puerto Rico in the mid 1960s among two political part ies, the New Progressive Party ( Partido Nuevo Progresista, PNP) that was pro statehood and the Independence Party ( Partido Independentista Puertorriqueo, PIP) that was pro independence. The Puerto Rican Assembly passed a plebiscite calling for a vote am ong these three options: statehood, commonwealth, or independence. Both parties boycotted the vote, stating that the process was ill egitimate and against internatio nal law norms, as the U.S. did not recognize the voting process. As a result of the boycott the commonwealth option, backed by the Popular Democratic
73 Party ( Partido Popular Democrtico, PPD), won w ith a majority of 60.4 % ( lvarez Rivera, 2009a ) 1993 Referendum. The i sland brought its status to a vote once more in November of 1993, with the commo nwealth status winning a majority vote. The commonwealth option, b acked by the PPD, won with 48.6 % the PNP backed statehood option gained 46.3 % leaving the independence option at just 4.4 % (backed by PIP) The PPD was able to win out over the PNP by 38,0 30 votes with an overall turnout rate of 73.5 % or approximately 1.7 million voters. The winning margin of just 2.3 % created hostile tensions between the PPD and PNP (lvarez Rivera, 2009b) 1998 Referendum. The third and most recent plebiscite is distinct from the 1967 and 1993 tickets in the ballot, where the commonwealth option was defined as PNP held a sovereignty. In addition, the PPD saw the new defi nition in opposition to its at a close second with 46.5 % an even smaller margin than the 1993 plebiscite ( lvarez Rivera 2009c).
74 Future of Parties The issue of pro statehood versus pro commonwealth has become a central theme to political platforms, dominating politics on the i sland Political parties are able to statehood or commonwealth status Recent studies indicate upper classes tend to vote pro statehood while middle and lower classes vote pro commonwealth (lvarez Rivera, 2009c) Less is known as to the motives underlying these voting patterns. If class is a strong indicator of how Puerto Rican migrants vote in elections, the influence of middle class return migrants could have a significant i mpact on political parties. I argued earlier that middle class return migrants are creating dual identities, as well as dual allegiances. If this trend continues, middle class Puerto Ricans may be inclined to support the commonwealth status more vocally R emaining a commonwealth would allow middle class Puerto Ricans to maintain dual allegiances. Future Avenues of Research Working within the scope of middle class migration, one important factor that may be an indicator of hybrid identities is the lack of p erceived discrimination within the U.S. cultural values. The Cuban example has been used as a model to explore how migrant groups are able to integrate into American soci ety, or remain isolated minorities. The first wave of Cuban migrants were from upper socioeconomic classes and entered into the U.S. under positive conditions. Subsequent waves, such as the Mariel boatlift wave, were met with hostility and faced discrimina tion. The inability to integrate into mainstream society is one possible outcome of negative contexts of reception.
75 The middle class return Puerto Ricans who participated in the ethnographic interviews showed evidence of hybrid identities and stated low levels of perceived discrimination while in the U.S. Additional research could determine if a correlation between these two variables exists. If so, positive contexts of reception would encourage hybrid identities and facilitate the integration of future m igrants. This could have an impact on second and third generation migrants who may have to negotiate between U.S. and Puerto Rican values. Along with perceived discrimination is the issue of race. Previous studies have shown race is correlated to both inco me and perceived discrimination ( Schildkraut 2005) Incorporating race into a study of discrimination would identity if race is a significant factor for these return migrants. A substantial amount of Puerto Ricans join the U.S. military every year in hop es of economic stability or higher education; however, this is not a recent phenomena. Puerto Ricans have served and died in the U.S. military for generations. Thousands of Puerto Ricans soldiers fought during WWI, WWII, the Vietnam W ar, the Korean War, an d are currently serving in Iraq and Afg hanistan. Could Puerto Rican service be indicative of more than just an avenue to higher income and education? Could their service be indicative of patriotism to the U.S.? A study that examined linkages between milita ry service and dual allegiances could add to the discussion on Puerto Rican hybridity (Dempsey and Shapiro 2009) One other possible avenue of research could include a gendered approach to this study (Col n Warren 2003) The feminization of migration has become an important factor in determining economic impacts on sending and receiving countries, as well as family cohesion (Poster and Wilson 2008) While remittances are not a likely
76 determinant among Puerto Rican migrants, family cohesion could be an impo rtant factor. The respondents in my study gave significant importance to maintaining familial return migration to the i sland It would be interesting to examine if men and women are creating hybrid iden tities alike, or if o ne group influences the other. These, and other studies, are necessary to broaden our understanding of circular migration and to assess the possible implications of hybrid cultures.
77 APPEND IX A QUESTIONNAIRE IN ENG LISH Basic Informati on: 1. Age: 2. Sex: 3. Year moved to the U S : 4. Year moved back to P.R.: Migration: 5. What were the major reasons for migrating to the U S ? 6. What were the major reasons for migrating back to P.R.? 7. Would you ever consider moving back to the U.S.? Why or why not ? Language: 8. Did you learn English before you moved to the U S during, or neither? 9. Would you consider yourself bilingual? 10. How important is it to speak Spanish everyday? 11. Do you have any children? If so, are they bilingual? Do you speak Spanish, Englis h, or both languages at home? 12. If you had remained in the states, how important would it have been to continue speaking Spanish? 13. How i s speaking Spanish part of your identity as a Puerto Rican? 14. How do you feel about mandatory English instruction in school s? Politics: 15. Are you registered voter in Puerto Rico? 16. How often would you say you vote?
78 17. When you lived in the states, did you register to vote? 18. Did you vote in the U.S. primaries? 19. How do you feel about the fact that Puerto Ricans cannot vote in the U .S. presidential election? 20. Does you or your family have strong political ties and if so, to whom? 21. Do you think Puerto Rico should become a U S state? Why or why not? Economics: 22. Were you employed in Puerto Rico prior to moving to the U S ? a. If yes, in w hat field? b. If no, how did you supplement your income? 23. Were you employed in the United States? a. If yes, in what field? b. If no, how did you supplement your income? 24. Were you able to find employment once you returned to Puerto Rico? 25. If you become unemplo yed in Puerto Rico, would you consider moving back to the U.S.? Identity: 26. All Puerto Ricans have U.S. citizenship. Do you consider yourself to be Boricua, North American, or a mixture of the two? 27. If Puerto Rico became a U.S. state, would you consider yo urself the same way? 28. How you feel about the new law recently passed requiring all Puerto Ricans to renew their birth certificates?
79 APPEND IX B QUESTIONNAIRE IN SPA NISH Informacin Bsica: 1. Edad: 2. Sexo: 3. El ao que usted se mud a los Estados Unidos: 4. El a o que usted regres a Puerto Rico: La Migracin: 5. Cules fueron las razones ms importantes porque usted se mud a los Estados Unidos? 6. Cules fueron las razones ms importantes porque usted regres a Puerto Rico? 7. Hay alguna posibilidad de que usted re grese a vivir a los Estados Unidos? Explique el s o el no. La Lengua: 8. Aprendi ingls antes de moverse a los Estados Unidos, despus de su estada, o nunca lo aprendi? 9. Es usted bilinge? 10. Para usted, es importante el hablar espaol cada da? 11. Tiene hijos? (Si la contestacin es si), Son sus hijos bilinges? En su casa se habla espaol, ingls, o los dos lenguajes? 12. Cuando viva en los Estados Unidos, era importante para usted y su familia el continuar hablando en espaol? Explique. 13. En qu maner a es el lenguaje espaol parte de su identidad como un/a Puertorriqueo/a?
80 14. Cmo se siente sobre el uso del lenguaje ingls en las escuelas de Puerto Rico? Lo Poltico: 15. Es usted un votante registrado en Puerto Rico? 16. Cuntas veces ha votado? 17. Fue uste d un votante registrado en los Estados Unidos? 18. Vot el los primarias de los EE.UU.? 19. Cmo se siente usted sobre el hecho de que los puertorriqueos no pueden votar en la eleccin presidencial de los EE.UU.? 20. Tiene su familia lazos polticos? En qu par tido estn ustedes envueltos? 21. Usted piensa que Puerto Rico necesita ser aparte de los EE.UU.? Por qu si o no? Lo Econmico: 22. Tuvo usted un trabajo en P.R. antes de mudarse a los Estados Unidos? a) Si la contestacin es si, Qu tipo de trabajo tena ust ed? b) Si la contestacin es no, c mo usted pagaba su renta? 23. Tuvo usted un trabajo en los EE.UU.? a) Si la contestacin es si, qu tipo de trabajo tena usted? b) Si la contestacin es no, como usted pagaba su renta ? 24. Cuando regres a Puerto Rico, pudo usted encontrar un trabajo ? 25. Si usted pierde su trabajo en Puerto Rico, considera usted moverse nuevamente a los Estados Unidos? Identidad 26. Cada Puertorriqueo es considerado un ciudadano Americano. Usted se
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87 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Whitney Marisa Lopez Hardin was born in Fort Bragg, North Carolina in 1986. The daughter of military parents, she grew up in Germany and the United St ates, graduating from S.R. Butler High School in 2004. She attended the University of Alabama at Birmingham, ea rning a double Bachelor of Arts in Spanish and i nternational s tudies in 2008. At the University of Florida she earned a Master of Arts in Latin A merican S tudies, with a concentration in p olitical s cience Whitney completed a thesis on Puerto Rican Return Migration in fulfillment of the m and graduated in May of 2011 Whitney is currently a graduate student at Vanderbilt University, e arning a Ph.D. in political science, where she continues to work in migration studies.