Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Life as a Reluctant Immigrant: An autoethnographic inquiry
by Cotanda, Dionel, Ph.D., University of South Florida, 2019, 172; 27543399
Abstract (Summary)

In this dissertation, I draw on memories inspired and heightened by compassionate interviews in order to produce a unifying narrative of interactions with family and friends prior to and following my exile from Cuba in 1960. I use autoethnography and narrative inquiry to understand how I made the decision to leave Cuba and the life I have lived in exile for almost sixty years. My dissertation focuses on what it means to live as a reluctant immigrant and how historically constituted power relations define the identity of many Cuban exiles. I discuss and contrast the politics of passion and the politics of affection. The politics of affection undermine the goals of the politics of passion; the moral imperative of what ought to be is not achieved and becomes an antecedent of the necessity to exile. The story I tell draws attention to memory, identity, displacement, the experience of ambiguous loss, the sadness of unfulfilled dreams of return, and the decision to live in exile as a survivor not a victim regardless of my disenchantment and resistance to the Castro Revolution.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Bochner, Arthur P.
Commitee: Ellis, Carolyn, Eisenberg, Eric, Cámara, Madeline
School: University of South Florida
Department: Communication
School Location: United States -- Florida
Source: DAI-A 81/6(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Communication
Keywords: Autoethnography, Displacement, Exile, Identity, Memory, Narrative
Publication Number: 27543399
ISBN: 9781392565056
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