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Chancellor's Postdoctoral Scholar, Stephanie Canizales, Quoted in the New York Times; The Quinceañera, Redefined

December 2, 2019

Quinceañeras are an integral part of the experiences of young women in Latin America and throughout the United States. They signal a celebratory moment in the lives of teenage girls and, in many families, are seen as a necessary rite of passage.

“But there is a growing generation of Latinos and Latinas who are choosing to redefine what quinceañeras mean, eschewing some of the old rules and expanding the purpose of the event. It is now more common to see quinces as celebrations of identity, including for queer and transgender individuals, and quinces that honor more than the transition to adulthood. Quinceañeras are becoming a distinct way to create belonging in the United States”, said Stephanie Canizales, a postdoctoral scholar at the University of California Merced, who studies Latino immigration and youth.

“Quinceañeras, like other Latinx celebrations in the U.S., are important for a positive identity and space in a political moment where Latinxs are constantly portrayed as social deviants with no place to belong,” she said. In the U.S. context, quinceañeras are also a bridge to home country traditions and offer a way of connecting the U.S.-born second generation to the world parents left behind,” Professor Canizales said.

Read more about the changing nature of quinceañeras in the New York Times article here.