Date of Award

Spring 2023

Document Type


Terms of Use

© 2023 Patricia Bautista Tiburcio. All rights reserved. This work is freely available courtesy of the author. It may only be used for non-commercial, educational, and research purposes. For all other uses, including reproduction and distribution, please contact the copyright holder.

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Sociology & Anthropology Department

First Advisor

Alejandra Azuero-Quijano


This research project begins with the question, what is the role of music in the lives and identities of contemporary Dominicanyorkers? As a Dominicanyorker and a student of sociology, this project begins from the embodied knowledge that Dembow music is actively doing something important in relation to how Dominican migrants and their descendants navigate their Dominican identity and belonging in present-day New York City. I claim that Dembow is the sound of a particular urban condition of diasporic identities, what I call following Dominican studies, “dominicanidad ausente.” To fully understand the role of music in identity development, I use ethnographic research, including interviews, and media content analysis to analyze how urban Dominican sonic practices reconstruct and expand dominicanidad as worldmaking separate from the Dominican Republic. I build upon Lorgia García Peña’s conceptual work to show that dominicanidad ausente is the historical condition of Dominican diasporic identity/identification defined at once by the position of both (1) experiencing one's Dominican identity always in relation with the yearning to return to the Dominican Republic, while (2) actively asserting one’s belonging to a diasporic community in the present and future. This is an investigation on the influence of Dembow music, analyzed through the conditions of contemporary urban dominicanidad ausente.