Both Hollywood and corporate America are taking note of the marketing power of the growing Latino population in the United States. And as salsa takes over both the dance floor and the condiment shelf, the influence of Latin culture is gaining momentum in American society as a whole. Yet the increasing visibility of Latinos in mainstream culture has not been accompanied by a similar level of economic parity or political enfranchisement. In this important, original, and entertaining book, Arlene Davila provides a critical examination of the Hispanic marketing industry and of its role in the making and marketing of U.S. Latinos. Davila finds that Latinos' increased popularity in the marketplace is simultaneously accompanied by their growing exotification and invisibility. She scrutinizes the complex interests that are involved in the public representation of Latinos as a generic and culturally distinct people and questions the homogeneity of the different Latino subnationalities that supposedly comprise the same people and group of consumers.
In a fascinating discussion of how populations have become reconfigured as market segments, she shows that the market and marketing discourse become important terrains where Latinos debate their social identities and public standing.
Arlene Davila is Assistant Professor of American Studies and Anthropology at New York University.She is the author of Sponsored Identities: Cultural Politics in Puerto Rico(1997).
List of Illustrations Acknowledgments Foreword Preface to the 2012 Edition Introduction Mediating Identities. Advertising: The Privilege of Commercial Discourse. Hispanic/Latino. Following the Corporate Intellectual: Doing Fieldwork on a Fieldless Site. Chapter 1. "Don't Panic, I'm Hispanic": The Trends and Economy of Cultural Flows Shaping Hispanidad from Latin America. The Ethnic Division of Cultural Labor. The Category That Made Us the Same. Global Trends: Segmenting and Containing the Market. Chapter 2. Knowledges: Facts and Fictions of a People as a Market The Turn to Research. Maneuvers in the Market. And Don't Forget That We All Eat Rice and Beans (or Habichuelas, Porotes, Frijoles ... ). Chapter 3. Images: Producing Culture for the Market The Nation. The Values. Nationalism, Nostalgia, and Ethnic Pride. The Latin Look and "Walter Cronkite Spanish,". "The Nation and Its Fragments,". Chapter 4. Screening the Image Through Corporate Eyes. The Virginal Mom and Other Negotiations. Identity Politics. The Real or Wannabe Hispanic. Chapter 5. Language and Culture in the Media Battle Zone Univision: Toward One Vision / One Culture. The Price of Synergy. Telemundo: "The Best of Both Worlds,". The Terrain of Latinidad: Toward the Best of One or Two Worlds?. Chapter 6. The Focus (or Fuck Us) Group: Consumers Talk Back, or Do They? The Focus Group. Quandaries of Representation. Culture and Color. Chapter 7. Selling Marginality: The Business of Culture Marketing African Americans: Marketing "by Any Means Necessary,". Marketing to the Model Minority Consumer. Sensitive People, Docile Consumers. Notes References Index