Document Type

Honors Project


Puerto Rico’s contested political status evokes questions of colonialism and self-determination. In the 1990s residents voted in plebiscites to answer what has become known as the Puerto Rican question: Should Puerto Rico become a new U.S. state, an autonomous commonwealth, or an independent nation? In 1993, “commonwealth” and “statehood” received almost 50 percent each. In 1998, however, 50.3 percent of voters chose “None of the above.” By analyzing these outcomes through frameworks of economics, ideological nationalisms, and moral politics, I argue that nationalism is important in every option and is manifested in the metaphor of political status as family composition.



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