Confronting a Colonial Legacy: Asserting Puerto Rican Identity by Legally Renouncing U.S. Citizenship

Centro Journal, Spring 2013, Vol. XXV, No. 1

28 Pages Posted: 20 Jun 2013 Last revised: 25 Jun 2013

Jacqueline N. Font-Guzmán

Creighton University School of Law, The Werner Institute

Date Written: June 1, 2013

Abstract

In this essay I discuss the beliefs and experiences of Puerto Ricans who chose to manage their own belonging and express their cultural national identity by legally renouncing what they consider to be an imposed U.S. citizenship. Acknowledging that the legal system is a key player in shaping individuals’ social construction of their reality, I share narratives as to how some Puerto Ricans exercise the negation of U.S. citizenship to assert their cultural national identity when confronted with oppressive legal structures and unequal socio-political arrangements. My discussion illustrates how citizenship is much more than a legal construct; it is also a subjective experience that leads to agency.

Keywords: Citizenship, Puerto Rico, Cultural National Identity, Colonialism, Unincorporated Territory, Puerto Rican Citizenship, Caribbean

Suggested Citation

Font-Guzmán, Jacqueline N., Confronting a Colonial Legacy: Asserting Puerto Rican Identity by Legally Renouncing U.S. Citizenship (June 1, 2013). Centro Journal, Spring 2013, Vol. XXV, No. 1 . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2280478

Jacqueline N. Font-Guzmán (Contact Author)

Creighton University School of Law, The Werner Institute ( email )

2500 California Plaza
Omaha, NE 68178
United States

HOME PAGE: http://law.creighton.edu/werner-institute

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