Working Toward Belonging: Cultural Citizenship through Employment in the Experiences of Haitian Transmigrants

Files

carney_thesis_final_52012 (1).pdf

Citation

Carney, Nikita, “Working Toward Belonging: Cultural Citizenship through Employment in the Experiences of Haitian Transmigrants,” Scholar@Simmons, accessed January 16, 2021, http://beatleyweb.simmons.edu/scholar/items/show/205.

Title

Working Toward Belonging: Cultural Citizenship through Employment in the Experiences of Haitian Transmigrants

Creator

Carney, Nikita

Date

2012

Description

This thesis investigates the ways in which cultural citizenship intersects with gender, migration, and work in the lived experiences of middle-class Haitian women in the United States to argue for a reframing of cultural citizenship that includes paid work as a site of cultural inclusion. Grounding my research in interviews conducted with Haitian women in the Boston area, I situate my analysis in relation to existing theory on migration, gender and employment, and cultural citizenship. Existing literature on migration, gender, and citizenship provides a basis for analyzing the experiences of Haitian women in the diaspora. Simultaneously, the interviews work to extend the relationship between gender, migration, labor, and cultural citizenship. Some scholars identify a connection between cultural citizenship and consumerism, given the presence of neoliberalism in the U.S. This thesis argues that the current understanding of cultural citizenship should be extended to incorporate cultural inclusion through paid labor and ideology surrounding work as well. I assert that cultural citizenship in the U.S. heavily relies upon the ability to reference the American dream: the idea of the United States as the land of opportunity where anyone can succeed with hard work. Though the American dream becomes a reality for only very few Americans and transmigrants, belief in the possibilities and a commitment to hard work serve as crucial components of cultural citizenship in the United States. Reframing the concept of cultural citizenship to include the importance of paid labor allows for a fuller understanding of the processes of belonging and inclusion with regards to race, gender, class, and the nation.

Publisher

Simmons College (Boston, Mass.)

Format

1 PDF (45 Pages)

Language

English

Type

Master Theses