In this paper I will use the Bakhtinian notion of polyphony,1 of a choral dialogue of multiple and heterogeneous voices, to elaborate a pluralistic account of cultural identity in general and of Hispanic identity in particular. I will complicate and further pluralize the Bakhtinian notion by talking about the overlapping and criss-crossing dialogues of heterogeneous voices that go into the formation of cultural identities. My pluralistic view emphasizes that cultural identity is bound up with differences and opposes those homogeneous models that try to impose a unique articulation of collective identity on the members of a group. Although I will not explicitly discuss the complex relations between cultural identity and racial and ethnic identity,2 my pluralistic view underscores that racial and ethnic elements are crucial components of cultural identity and of its heterogeneous nature; and I oppose those contemporary views that talk about “post-ethnic” and “post-racial” identities, trying to purify individual and collective identities of racial and ethnic meanings.3

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