Presentation Title

The Complexes Shaping the Development of Female Identities in Latinx Literature

Faculty Mentor

Elizabeth Sturgeon

Start Date

18-11-2017 10:00 AM

End Date

18-11-2017 10:15 AM

Location

15-1823

Session

Humanities 1

Type of Presentation

Oral Talk

Subject Area

humanities_letters

Abstract

Ideas about complexes from social psychology can be an important tools for understanding how the identities of female protagonists in contemporary Latinx literature are shaped. This paper examines the idea that social psychology plays a pivotal role in the formation of an individual’s identity. The division amongst multiple identities, however, creates a problem when the individual feels like she must choose one identity over the other. The individual finds herself in conflict with who she was, who she is, and who she can be. But how a character discovers herself does not come from a natural cause but rather the skills and attributes she has learned to develop and use along the way to the realization of her full identity. This paper approaches the complexes of identities in three Latinx novels: When I was Puerto Rican by Esmeralda Santiago, Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel, and Dreaming in Cuban by Cristina Garcia. Within complexes of identity, the paper analyzes the incorporation of two sub-categories including the inferiority complex and the Cinderella complex. It also acknowledges and further discusses how the social psychology of the individual determines who she will initially become.

Summary of research results to be presented

This research came out of a research project from the KECK Undergraduate Research Program, Summer 2017. During the time the program took place, I was able to not only learn about what mapping Latinx Literature is, but to use what I learned to begin to develop a paper with my findings. Majority of the time, young individuals find themselves in the situation where they question their identity, especially for young females, there could be more than one underlying factor that contributes to their decisions. I wanted to find out the reason for this. How young individuals were able to adapt to one identity and yet, not feel so lost and disconnected with the other. I read three Latinx literature novels that dealt with Mexican, Cuban, and Puerto Rican identities, with each crossing with American identities. I also used literary criticisms, terms that you would not normally use for Latinx literature like habitus and cultural identities, to analyze the readings and applied them onto my critical analysis. I extracted pieces of information to formulate an idea, the idea that social psychology plays a pivotal role on a person’s identity. Although my paper is on Latinx Literature, I was able to then apply aspects of psychology and philosophy onto it. My paper focused more on the mind, how an individual’s behavior is affected, and how their actions played out. In the end, my goal was to see if the social psychological factors can influence the self-complexities individual female characters face when coming to terms with their identities in Latinx literature.

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Nov 18th, 10:00 AM Nov 18th, 10:15 AM

The Complexes Shaping the Development of Female Identities in Latinx Literature

15-1823

Ideas about complexes from social psychology can be an important tools for understanding how the identities of female protagonists in contemporary Latinx literature are shaped. This paper examines the idea that social psychology plays a pivotal role in the formation of an individual’s identity. The division amongst multiple identities, however, creates a problem when the individual feels like she must choose one identity over the other. The individual finds herself in conflict with who she was, who she is, and who she can be. But how a character discovers herself does not come from a natural cause but rather the skills and attributes she has learned to develop and use along the way to the realization of her full identity. This paper approaches the complexes of identities in three Latinx novels: When I was Puerto Rican by Esmeralda Santiago, Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel, and Dreaming in Cuban by Cristina Garcia. Within complexes of identity, the paper analyzes the incorporation of two sub-categories including the inferiority complex and the Cinderella complex. It also acknowledges and further discusses how the social psychology of the individual determines who she will initially become.