It was all black and white and there was nothing in between: Latin@ identity negotiation in the Midwest
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[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT AUTHOR'S REQUEST.] The general purpose of this research is to shed light on the presence of Latino/a's who are middle-class, and are living in the Midwestern United States. Specifically, it examines how Latino/a's construct and maintain a Latino/a identity in a geographic region that requires them to constantly navigate a non-Latino/a culture. Often, for Latino/a's in other regions of the United States this construction and maintenance is able to occur in a different way, primarily because these individuals have access to a larger Latino/a culture. The lack of access experienced by Latino/as in this research creates feelings of isolation from other Latino/as who are not middle-class. This isolation often requires Latino/as to choose which identity is more important, middle-class or Latino/a. This choice is not always absolute and many of the individuals in this research utilized different strategies to balance these two competing identities. The strategies used enabled Latino/a's to construct, maintain and navigate their identities in the non-Latino/a space. Ultimately, we see that middle-class Latino/as in the Midwest must constantly negotiate a space that is often hostile and unforgiving and their competing identities are rarely given the room to coexist.
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