The Views of Maldonando on the Problematic Ideas of Puerto Ricans in Puerto Rican Cinema

Categories: Film

Problematic Ideas of Puerto Ricans in Puerto Rican Cinema by Maldonando

Maldonando talks her work, which is to analyze how Puerto Ricans had been portrayed in the cinema. These negative stereotypical portrayals cause tensions because it makes it seem that Puerto Ricans are ‘native to nowhere and have no original roots. The reason why the terms ‘native to nowhere is a problem because it creates an image that Puerto Ricans are constantly traveling and do not settle in a specific place.

The second problem with that term is that it gives the impression that the Puerto Rican culture is not legitimate and has no national purity and cultural authenticity. Maldonando supports her claims, by stating the cinema constructs these exaggerated identities and make people believe that having a nomadic nature is their national identity, but as a consequence it creates cultural discourse. The film created by Luis Rafeal Sanchez portrays in Puerto Ricans as always being constant movement from place to place.

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However, cultural critics’ state Puerto Ricans are constantly portrayed as subservient maids, violent gangsters, dirty low-class thieves and load, melodramatic families. These negative stereotypes are the result of Puerto Ricans always being perceived as the other and being seen as inferior on the U.S traditional dichotomy. Why does the United States create negative stereotypes of Puerto Ricans and continue the colonial mindset?

The Language of Multiple Identities among Dominican Americans by Benjamin Bailey

Bailey discusses that Dominican youth have to always protect their identity or negotiate the boundaries in which people believe they are African American until they start talking in Spanish.

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Bailey even went a step further and wrote an ethnography on six high school students and how they had to deal with discrimination from their peers. More specifically Bailey focused his area of study in Providence, Rhode Island. The reason why Bailey choose to do his observations is to see how Dominican Americans preserve their identity against a pre-dominantly white student body. Many Dominican families identify with their African ancestry, however, they are often times identified as African American, but they try not to be stereotyped that way, by speaking in Spanish. Second generation Dominicans have more boundaries to negotiate with European, African American and their own perception of their Dominicaness. Many Dominicans did identify with their African American counterparts because they lived in segregated neighborhoods and shared similar traits. What is the strategy of the United States for always segregating a new immigrant group?

Dominican Youth in New York City Schools: A Community Stands Up and Delivers by Lesley Bartlett and Garcia Bartlett

Garcia give evidence that Dominican youth have a hard time in assimilating into American schools because one their obstacles in a language and cultural barrier. In order to address the needs of New York Dominican youth, Gregario Luperion had opened its doors, by using bilingualism as strength for additive schooling. The authors Bartlett and Garcia make it point to highlight Dominicans make up the majority in New York, however, many are under performing in schools. As a response to this subtractive schooling, the Dominican community had come together to combat the way teachers and school administrators saw bilingualism as a handicap not a strength. Since there was a high number of Dominicans concentrated in Washington Heights, Manhattan and this actually created political power that would help improve the treatment of newly-arrived Dominican and pan-Hispanic immigrants. Bartlett and Garcia even state how Dominican students come into the United States educational system underprepared. Those differences play a huge part in how they perform in American schools, for example Dominican students only spend 5 hours in the classroom, but in reality classroom time 2.5 hours. Secondly, teachers in Dominican Republic expect students to copy the information given on the board and memorize it, but the culture of teaching is much more complex but the Dominican students would be expected to analyze, interpret and give their own opinions on the information they find. What are policies in place that actually benefit Dominican students that have bilingualism?

Contesting Race and Power: Second-Generation Dominican Youth in the New Gotham by Ana Aparicio

Aparico gives evidence that many young, second-generation Dominicans participate in civic projects. These civic projects include finding solutions for problems such as globalization and racism in order to socially construct and identity of being politically active. Many Dominican communities in New York face obstacles of racial inequality within education, public assistance, unemployment and etc. However, in response to these racial disparities many second-generation Dominican have created projects that would combat the negative influences that have plagued their neighborhoods. As a result, of many young Dominican activists that have created campaigns of anti-racism, they also have started to slowly change the ideologies that were the foundation of these racist sentiments towards Dominicans. The strength of these movements also created a strong political voice for the Dominican community. Aparico wanted to find out how the second-generation was gathering political influence in order to positively impact local issues that were affecting their ethnic enclave. How did Dominican youth organize so rapidly in face of racial disparities?

Social Reproduction and Urban Competiveness: How Dominican Bodegueros Use the Care Economy by Adam Pine

In his work, Pine discusses the role that bodegas play in uplifting Dominican families. Pine also contrasts his finding by showing what a traditional market or neoliberalism is supposed to behave, but the functions of a bodega is different. Many bodegas are mainly distinguished by their bright colors of yellow, green or blue. Pine has found in his ethnographic work that a majority of bodegas try to cater to their customers by providing them with products that they could not find elsewhere. Bodegas also play a very multifunctional role, such as being a hardware and grocery store all at the same time. Also bodegas go above the norm of urban competiveness by maintaining intimate relationships with customers so returning to their store. Some store owners even try to conduct their staff that are their family to treat women with respect. The bodegas serve as a care sector because they are trying to provide the low-income residents with cheap alternatives. How do Dominican families balance running the stores and obtaining social mobility?

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The Views of Maldonando on the Problematic Ideas of Puerto Ricans in Puerto Rican Cinema. (2022, Oct 09). Retrieved from

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