Puerto Ricans maintain a vibrant identity that bridges two very
different places--the island of Puerto Rico and the U.S. mainland.
Whether they live on the island, in the States, or divide time
between the two, most imagine Puerto Rico as a separate nation and
view themselves primarily as Puerto Rican. At the same time, Puerto
Ricans have been U.S. citizens since 1917, and Puerto Rico has been
a U.S. commonwealth since 1952.
Jorge Duany uses previously untapped primary sources to bring new
insights to questions of Puerto Rican identity, nationalism, and
migration. Drawing a distinction between political and cultural
nationalism, Duany argues that the Puerto Rican "nation" must be
understood as a new kind of translocal entity with deep cultural
continuities. He documents a strong sharing of culture between
island and mainland, with diasporic communities tightly linked to
island life by a steady circular migration. Duany explores the
Puerto Rican sense of nationhood by looking at cultural
representations produced by Puerto Ricans and considering how
others--American anthropologists, photographers, and museum
curators, for example--have represented the nation. His sources of
information include ethnographic fieldwork, archival research,
interviews, surveys, censuses, newspaper articles, personal
documents, and literary texts.