Arlene Dávila brilliantly considers the cultural politics of urban space in this lively exploration of Puerto Rican and Latino experience in New York, the global center of culture and consumption, where Latinos are now the biggest minority group. Analyzing the simultaneous gentrification and Latinization of what is known as El Barrio or Spanish Harlem, Barrio Dreams makes a compelling case that--despite neoliberalism's race-and ethnicity-free tenets--dreams of economic empowerment are never devoid of distinct racial and ethnic considerations. Dávila scrutinizes dramatic shifts in housing, the growth of charter schools, and the enactment of Empowerment Zone legislation that promises upward mobility and empowerment while shutting out many longtime residents. Foregrounding privatization and consumption, she offers an innovative look at the marketing of Latino space. She emphasizes class among Latinos while touching on black-Latino and Mexican-Puerto Rican relations. Providing a unique multifaceted view of the place of Latinos in the changing urban landscape, Barrio Dreams is one of the most nuanced and original examinations of the complex social and economic forces shaping our cities today.
Analyzing the simultaneous gentrification and Latinization of what is known as El Barrio or Spanish Harlem, Barrio Dreams makes a compelling case that--despite neoliberalism's race- and ethnicity-free tenets--dreams of economic empowerment are never devoid of distinct racial and ethnic considerations.
Just ten years ago, discussions of Latina/o media could be safely reduced to a handful of TV channels, dominated by Univision and Telemundo. Today, dramatic changes in the global political economy have resulted in an unprecedented rise in major new media ventures for Latinos as everyone seems to want a piece of the Latina/o media market. While current scholarship on Latina/o media have mostly revolved around important issues of representation and stereotypes, this approach does not provide the entire story. In Contemporary Latina/o Media, Arlene Dávila and Yeidy M. Rivero bring together an impressive range of leading scholars to move beyond analyses of media representations, going behind the scenes to explore issues of production, circulation, consumption, and political economy that affect Latina/o mass media. Working across the disciplines of Latina/o media, cultural studies, and communication, the contributors examine how Latinos are being affected both by the continued Latin Americanization of genres, products, and audiences, as well as by the whitewashing of "mainstream" Hollywood media where Latinos have been consistently bypassed. While focusing on Spanish-language television and radio, the essays also touch on the state of Latinos in prime-time television and in digital and alternative media. Using a transnational approach, the volume as a whole explores the ownership, importation, and circulation of talent and content from Latin America, placing the dynamics of the global political economy and cultural politics in the foreground of contemporary analysis of Latina/o media.
Culture Works addresses and critiques an important dimension of the "work of culture," an argument made by enthusiasts of creative economies that culture contributes to the GDP, employment, social cohesion, and other forms of neoliberal development. While culture does make important contributions to national and urban economies, the incentives and benefits of participating in this economy are not distributed equally, due to restructuring that neoliberal policies have wrought from the 1980s on, as well as long-standing social structures, such as racism and classism, that breed inequality. The cultural economy promises to make life better, particularly in cities, but not everyone can take advantage of it for decent jobs.Exposing and challenging the taken-for-granted assumptions around questions of space, value and mobility that are sustained by neoliberal treatments of culture, Culture Works explores some of the hierarchies of cultural workers that these engender, as they play out in a variety of settings, from shopping malls in Puerto Rico and art galleries in New York to tango tourism in Buenos Aires. Noted scholar Arlene Dávila brilliantly reveals how similar dynamics of space, value and mobility come to bear in each location, inspiring particular cultural politics that have repercussions that are both geographically specific, but also ultimately global in scope.
While becoming less relevant in the United States, shopping malls are booming throughout urban Latin America. But what does this mean on the ground? Are shopping malls a sign of the region's "coming of age"? El Mall is the first book to answer these questions and explore how malls and consumption are shaping the conversation about class and social inequality in Latin America. Through original and insightful ethnography, Dávila shows that class in the neoliberal city is increasingly defined by the shopping habits of ordinary people. Moving from the global operations of the shopping mall industry to the experience of shopping in places like Bogotá, Colombia, El Mall is an indispensable book for scholars and students interested in consumerism and neoliberal politics in Latin America and the world.
Winner of the 2010 Distinguished Book Award in Latino Studies from the Latin American Studies AssociationIllegal immigrant, tax burden, job stealer. Patriot, family oriented, hard worker, model consumer. Ever since Latinos became the largest minority in the U.S. they have been caught between these wildly contrasting characterizations leaving us to wonder: Are Latinos friend or foe?Latino Spin cuts through the spin about Latinos' supposed values, political attitudes, and impact on U.S. national identity to ask what these caricatures suggest about Latinos' shifting place in the popular and political imaginary. Noted scholar Arlene Dávila illustrates the growing consensus among pundits, advocates, and scholars that Latinos are not a social liability, that they are moving up and contributing, and that, in fact, they are more American than "the Americans." But what is at stake in such a sanitized and marketable representation of Latinidad? Dávila follows the spin through the realm of politics, think tanks, Latino museums, and urban planning to uncover whether they effectively challenge the growing fear over Latinos' supposedly dreadful effect on the "integrity" of U.S. national identity. What may be some of the intended or unintended consequences of these more marketable representations in regard to current debates over immigration?With particular attention to what these representations reveal about the place and role of Latinos in the contemporary politics of race, Latino Spin highlights the realities they skew and the polarization they effect between Latinos and other minorities, and among Latinos themselves along the lines of citizenship and class. Finally, by considering Latinos in all their diversity, including their increasing financial and geographic disparities, Dávila can present alternative and more empowering representations of Latinidad to help attain true political equity and intraracial coalitions.
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 Dávila provides a critical examination of the Hispanic marketing industry and of its role in the making and marketing of U.S. Latinos. Dávila 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.
A report on the state of Latino politics and culture in New York--the most populous and diverse Latino city in the United States.
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