Date of Degree

6-2014

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A.

Program

Liberal Studies

Advisor

Ana Y. Ramos-Zayas

Subject Categories

African American Studies | Latin American Languages and Societies | Latin American Studies | Social and Cultural Anthropology

Keywords

Dominican roots-music, Dominicans in New York, Gaga, Haitian-Dominican cultural expression, Political spirituality, Spiritual transmission

Abstract

This study analyzed the Haitian-Dominican spiritual and cultural expression of Gaga in New York City through the group Gaga Pa'l Pueblo (GPP). Text analysis, participant observation, and qualitative analysis of interviews with twelve participants in this activity were used to conduct this study. I demonstrate the existence of a transnational intergenerational and interethnic sociocultural interaction that is simultaneously public and private, ritualistic and entertaining, secular and spiritual. I argue that it is not a matter of putting Gaga in a spiritual-secular dichotomy, but rather about understanding that even if GPP is not a true reflection of what Gaga is in the Dominican Republic, it satisfies a sociopolitical, cultural and spiritual need among many Dominicans that live in New York City. GPP is, for instance, a place of spiritual-cultural transmission that embodies a memory and a history of hope and resistance for present and future generations.

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