Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)

Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Mahuya Pal, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Carolyn Ellis, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Ambar Basu, Ph.D.


transnational, multiracial, multiethnic, race, hybridity, fatherlessness


This study helps us understand the complexities of transnational abandonment, and transnational abandonment in the context of Saudi heritage in particular. Based on a textual analysis of narratives on a blog by individuals abandoned by their Saudi fathers, my findings suggest that they discursively construct their identity in three ways: a) by negotiating their illegitimate status as perceived by many Saudis, and the validity of their search; b) by making sense of the absence of father and the cultural knowledge of the paternal side, while negotiating the inevitable presence of the father in many other ways and their ethnic difference; c) by navigating the tensions of continuing with the search and anticipating the consequences. These themes highlight how conditions of father absence, particularly where the father has a national origin different from one's own has dynamic and conflicting implications socially and culturally, and for production of identities for their children. In sum, this study challenges uncritical celebration of multiculturalism in the US, and broadens the understanding of the complexities of hybrid identities.

Included in

Communication Commons