Mi Gente: Representations of Latinx on Netflix’s Gentefied

Sponsor: Latina/o Communication Studies Division
Sat, 11/19: 2:00 PM - 3:15 PM CST
Sheraton 
Room: Napoleon Ballroom B1 - 3rd Floor 
With the increased popularity of over-the-top media services and niche-targeting content, critics and academics suggest improvements in representations of Latinx in entertainment media. Yet, despite changes, Latinx continue to be underrepresented and misrepresented under stereotypical portrayals. This paper analyzes contemporary trends in media representations of Latinx identities and experiences in streaming television content. Through a textual analysis of the first season of Gentefied, a Netflix original show critically acclaimed for its representation of a Mexican American family in Los Angeles, we examine which meanings around Latinx identities and experiences are articulated on screen. Based on the tenets of Latina/o Critical Communication theory and the contributions from Latino Media Studies, we discuss how Gentefied centralizes Latinx characters and stories under a framework of resistance, complexity, and hybridity that both reinforces and challenges previous representations of Latinx in entertainment media. Specifically, our analysis suggests that Latinx experiences are depicted as marked by dialectics of oppression and resistance, where characters are represented as negotiating different resistant strategies while navigating issues of community exploitation, cultural appropriation, racism, and socioeconomic struggles. The analysis also suggests that stereotypes associated with Mexicannes and Latinx communities are negotiated, reinforced, and disrupted, especially in relation to gender and sexuality. We conclude with a discussion about the potentialities and constraints of this streaming television content for media representations of Latinx.

Author

Raiana de Carvalho, Syracuse University  - Contact Me

Co-Author

Kandice N. Green, Syracuse University  - Contact Me