Senior Honors Projects, 2010-current

Date of Award

Spring 2016

Document Type

Dissertation/Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (BA)

Department

School of Communication Studies

Advisor(s)

Annick Dupal

Abstract

Resolution 12, a piece of national legislation in the Dominican Republic, retroactively revokes citizenship from individuals whose ancestors came to the country illegally. The resolution was proposed in 2007, signed into law in 2008, and ratified in 2013, rendering a large number of Dominican-born individuals stateless. Using the framework of Communication Theory of Identity (CTI), the researcher analyzed the communication processes and cultural elements stateless individuals utilize to form their national identity. The researcher used a qualitative approach to gather data, which were analyzed using the constant comparative method. Responses from the participants, provided through in-depth individual interviews, indicate that Dominico-Haitians form national identity in four ways: through legally ascribed means; through cultural constructs that are perpetuated in their actions; within the context of liminal third space; and at a fundamental human (rights) level. The findings of the study pertaining to legal and cultural citizenship are in line with the enacted and personal frames of identity proposed by CTI, while the concepts of third space and human identity break from theory and encourage critical human rights action. The implications of this study and areas of future research are also discussed.

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