Molly Hamm-Rodríguez

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Colorado, Boulder, U. of

Grant number

Gr. 10220

Approve Date

October 7, 2021

Project Title

Hamm-Rodríguez, Molly (Colorado, Boulder, U. of) "Imperial Formations of Tourism and Youth Futures: A Raciolinguistic Perspective on Language and Literacy in the Dominican Republic"

Using a raciolinguistic perspective (Rosa and Flores 2020), this project interrogates the ideological work (Gal and Irvine 2019) behind how youth futures in the Dominican Republic (e.g., education, employment) become the topic of problematization (Foucault 1994) and how youth language and literacy practices become the target for intervention. Black Dominican and Haitian youth living in situations of economic precarity are often framed as at-risk and subjected to “coercive concern” (Jaffe-Walter 2016) by institutions that mark them as possible subjects of empowerment or “unworthy subjects of care” (Kwon 2013, 8). Building on a decade of professional and personal experience in the Dominican Republic, I will engage in seven months of fieldwork using policy, sociolinguistic, ethnographic, and participatory action methods with youth to examine how the capitalist and imperial formations of tourism shape struggles for survival in the Caribbean (Roland 2011). Building on the anthropological literatures of raciolinguistic ideologies, political economy, and youth language and literacy, this study explores the interpersonal and institutional implications of problematizations related to youth employment and attends to the workings of alternative spaces of resistance that youth forge in everyday life beyond the confines of racial capitalism (Robinson 1983).