Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name





Vilna Bashi Treitler

Committee Members

Richard Alba

Philip Kasinitz

Subject Categories

Community-Based Research | Inequality and Stratification | Politics and Social Change | Race and Ethnicity | Sociology


Latino Panethnicity, Identity, Politics, Race, Culture, Ethnic Invisibility


In recent years Puerto Ricans in New York City have become difficult to locate in the public realm. This is a paradox given that Puerto Ricans make up the largest Hispanic subgroup in the larger metropolitan region. This study examines how, when, and why Puerto Ricans became publicly invisible in New York City.

Demographic, media-based, political, and cultural changes have all contributed to the decline in Puerto Rican ethnic visibility. The consequence is that although Puerto Ricans continue to be racialized (as evidenced by their socioeconomic indicators), their racialization cannot be seen in the public realm. Instead, Hispanic characteristics are highlighted in public discourse. The subsuming of Puerto Ricans into the quasi-racial Hispanic category means that their ethnic specificity is muted. This story of invisibility is not a story of assimilation, it is a story of racialization.

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