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On Being a White Person of Color: Using Autoethnography to Understand Puerto Ricans' Racialization

Abstract

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

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Vidal-Ortiz, S. On Being a White Person of Color: Using Autoethnography to Understand Puerto Ricans' Racialization. Qualitative Sociology 27, 179–203 (2004). https://doi.org/10.1023/B:QUAS.0000020692.05355.6e

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1023/B:QUAS.0000020692.05355.6e

  • autoethnography
  • racialization
  • race/ethnicity
  • Puerto Ricans
  • people of color