Date of Award
Joint Ph.D. Program in Study of Religion
Miguel De La Torre
Christian ethics, Latinx, Neurodivergent, Neurodiversity, Social ethics
A significant problem facing neurodivergent Latinxs is the invisibility of their marginalization and oppression. Neurodivergent Latinxs are invisible in dominant society and theological discourse. While neurodivergence and disability are not synonymous, the failure to recognize the marginalization of disability contributes to neurodivergent invisibility. Disability is depoliticized when disability is conceived as an issue of individual embodiment rather than a social issue of acceptance, accessibility, and equality. Neurodivergent Latinxs are erased, and the physical, epistemic, and institutional violence against them go unnamed.
This research project uses the hermeneutical circle for ethics in formulating praxis in combating the oppression of neurodivergent Latinxs. This methodology is used to understand neurodivergence, the nature of neurodivergent Latinxs’ oppression, how theology acts as a hindrance or a resource to their liberation, and the ways neurodivergent Latinxs resist their oppression, to construct a social ethic for disability and racial justice. This method finds an affirmation of neurodivergent personhood and that racialized neuronormativity is a system of power oppressing neurodivergent Latinxs with theology acting as a hindrance or empowerment in resisting this oppression. This leads to the final step of offering a new ethical perspective.
After going through the hermeneutical circle, this project proposes an ethic of haciendo cara as a neurodivergent Latinx liberative social ethic. This ethic borrows and expands Chicana theorist Gloria Anzaldúa’s metaphor of haciendo cara (making face). Making face is one of Anzaldúa’s metaphors for constructing identity. An ethic of haciendo cara develops this metaphor to encompass not only neurodivergent Latinxs making face, but making society. Haciendo cara reinterprets the metaphorical system of face/mask/unmasking within neurodivergent communities to face/mask/unmask/making face. Therefore, an ethic of haciendo cara is a metaphor for the praxis of neurodivergent Latinxs constructing their own identity and (re)creating society toward a more just future.
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Rudolph P. Reyes II
Received from ProQuest
Reyes II, Rudolph P., "Divergence: Toward a Neurodivergent Latinx Liberative Social Ethic" (2023). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 2363.
Ethics, Hispanic American studies, Disability studies
Available for download on Saturday, December 13, 2025