Date of Degree

6-2020

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Program

Sociology

Advisor

Philip Kasinitz

Committee Members

Nancy Foner

Vilna Bashi Treitler

Alex Stepick

Subject Categories

Family, Life Course, and Society | Gender and Sexuality | Migration Studies | Race and Ethnicity | Sociology

Keywords

Haitian Americans, second generation, Miami, ethnic identity, black diaspora

Abstract

“Raising Haiti” analyzes how ethnicity structures the romantic and familial lives of second-generation Haitian Americans living in Miami, FL to explore the continuance of ethnic culture into the third generation. Drawing on forty-one interviews and ten months of ethnographic fieldwork, I investigate the (re)construction and inculcation of Haitian cultural heritage via childrearing practices. I argue that Haitian American families negotiate the transmission of ethnic heritage, within a context of global anti-black racism, poor relationship with their proximal hosts, and the social value of ethnicity in multicultural Miami, through an understanding of the precarity of Haitian ethnicity. Without concerted effort through familial decisions such as partner choice and cultural socialization, Haitian Americans jeopardize their continued existence as a distinct ethnic diasporic entity. The findings provide a nuanced understanding of the continuation of black ethnicity across generations and the construction of a diasporic blackness in the U.S. context.

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