This study deals with negotiation in reference to cultural identity formation and maintenance
of Latinos / Hispanics as it is presented in five dramatic texts of a period extending from the early
80s to the early 90s in U. S. Latino dramaturgy. As the term culture has been difficult to define by
some researchers, the term negotiation has also become problematic not only because of its
manifold applications as far as social and cultural issues are concerned, but also due to the
paucity of suitable definitions that have been advanced until the present. Through the artistic
works and other academic writings, we will elucidate on the concept of negotiation as well as
outline some of the relationships and trajectories in regards to such concepts as assimilation,
acculturation, transculturation, biculturalism, identity and culture. Since these concepts contain
meanings and contents that have been dealt with through different currents of thought in the last
two decades of the Twentieth Century, diverse disciplines in the social sciences as well as cultural
and literary studies are referred to, in order to explore in depth and attempt to clarify the different
conceptions that are attributed to the term and concept of negotiation of cultural identity.
In most cases, when the term negotiation appears in the scholarly works, through themes or
particular contexts related to certain cultures or ethnic communities, the concept acquires
meanings that are frequently taken for granted on the part of the scholars. Some researchers of
these disciplines have availed themselves of the term in their studies, by providing, in some cases,
ambiguous or deficient definitions, and in other cases, definitions that are not completely explicit.
Furthermore, it is inferred that the application of such a term in the research fields calls for the
readers, either directly or indirectly, to have in mind an idea of what is understood by negotiation
in terms of cultural identity. Later on in this work, several basic premises are proposed based on
the scholarly works under consideration in order to formulate a paradigm on the negotiation
process of cultural identity that renders possible the multiple readings that are carried out on the
artistic pieces as well as the clarification of the concept itself.
To initiate this inquiry, it is necessary to undertake some legitimate issues with regard to the
term and concept of negotiation. For instance, what brings about the negotiation of cultural
identity? In fact, is it possible to negotiate in cultural terms? What happens during the process of
negotiation? What takes place before and after such a process? In particular, what about those
Latinos and Latinas who do not want to get involved in this process? Is it possible to identify
periods in which the person is free from cultural identity negotiations? Are we able to indicate a
point in time and space in so far as the initiation and conclusion of the negotiation process? Are
we able to identify certain cultural identity negotiations even though the people involved are not
aware or consider them as such? The first part of this study attempts to explain and clarify some
issues pertaining to the process of cultural identity negotiation and the second part, identifies and
pinpoints the process.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. May 2009. Major: Hispanic and Luso-Brazilian Literatures and Linguistics. Advisor: Luis A. Ramos-Garcia. 1 computer file (PDF); ii, 240 pages + 1 computer file (PDF); English title page.
Chavana, Gerardo Paul.
Apreciaciones de las negociaciones de identidad cultural en la dramaturgia latina de los Estados Unidos (1980-1991).
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