Feb 08 2010

Latinos, Inc.

Published by at 12:58 am under Reflection Blog

Latinos, Inc. by Arlene Dávila provides an insightful and overlooked view into the way that the United States markets products to people of Latino background.  One of her major discussion points is the way in which the United States markets an image that the ideal American Latino should have.  This image encompasses a nuclear family that is not white, but a mix of white and Hispanic.  American marketers have an idea that the Latino family is bilingual, and tend to put many advertisements geared toward this population in “Spainglish.”  These stereotypes do not feed into just one country in Latin America, but instead American marketers generalize all Latinos into one marketable lump.
As we talked about in class, this has a negative impact on the white American’s view on Latinos.  It does not recognize the fact that the Latino population is a diverse group, and, as the film pointed out, most Latinos identify more with their country of origin rather than their Latino identity.
We brought up the fact that Americans often think that in American we speak English, and “learn it or get out,” when in reality, there are places in the United States were Spanish or French is a legal second language.  These calls for homogenization of languages and cultures are counter-productive, forgetting that old adage about us being a “melting pot” or “salad.”  While these two may have different connotations (melting pot giving more of an idea of blending in, salad lending itself to images of diversity) they both recognize the fact that America is built upon different cultures and ideals.  And, with the Hispanic population becoming so big that salsa outsells ketchup (!), this is definitely a group that America needs to pay attention to.

-Charles

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