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Societies 2015, 5(4), 778-806; doi:10.3390/soc5040778

Imposed Hispanicity: How the Imposition of Racialized and Gendered Identities in Texas Affects Mexican Women in Romantic Relationships with White Men

Department of Sociology, Human Services and Criminal Justice, Henderson State University, Arkadelphia, AR 71999, USA
Academic Editors: Silvia Dominguez and Cid Martinez
Received: 16 September 2015 / Revised: 26 October 2015 / Accepted: 11 November 2015 / Published: 17 November 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cross-racial and Cross-ethnic Personal and Group Relationships)
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Abstract

Intimate, romantic spaces are important sites for the examination of self-identification and perceived identification, especially with regard to gender and racial power. In this article I examine how white men in romantic relationships or marriages with Mexican women and residing in Texas, impose “Hispanic” as a racial identity as a discursive tactic that reinforces the hegemonic power of being white and being a man in order to define the situation, impose ideals that distance Mexican partners from being “too ethnic” or “threatening” in order to achieve closer proximity to “honorary whiteness” and acceptability of racial others, and creates a romantic space that is coercive instead of loving and safe. This study thus finds that white men used their hegemony to not only employ imposed Hispanicity, which I define as an institutionally created but culturally and institutionally imposed label, and an action based on the use of direct and indirect coercion and force by others, in this case, white romantic partners, for the purpose of establishing power and determining the situation in which racial definitions are made. Therefore, “Hispanic” becomes an identity that is chosen by others and while participants of Mexican descent do employ agency, the socially imposed conditions and expectations associated with “Hispanic” serve to police the identities, bodies, lives, and actions of people of Latin American descent. View Full-Text
Keywords: identity; Latin@s; interracial/interethnic romantic relationships; imposed identities; power identity; Latin@s; interracial/interethnic romantic relationships; imposed identities; power
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Guillén, J.C. Imposed Hispanicity: How the Imposition of Racialized and Gendered Identities in Texas Affects Mexican Women in Romantic Relationships with White Men. Societies 2015, 5, 778-806.

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