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Article
Who Exactly Is Living La Vida Loca: The Legal and Political Consequences of Latino-Latina Ethnic and Racial Stereotypes in Film and Other Media
J. Gender Race & Just.
  • Ediberto Román, Florida International University College of Law
Document Type
Article
Publication Date
1-1-2000
Abstract
This piece, however, will not simply expose the insidious stereotypes of Latinas and Latinos. It will undertake the more involved task of drawing a nexus between the societal prejudice which leads to the stereotyping and the legal and political consequences that result from it. Specifically, I argue that these media images, myths, metaphors, and stereotypes play a critical role in establishing society's vision of Latinas and Latinos. In other words, these stereotypes serve to reinforce both the characterizations of Latinas and Latinos from the perspectives of both the dominant and the dominated. These stereotypes, in turn, foster and perpetuate two insidious and pernicious effects. First, these stereotypes have an external effect on non-members of the group, reinforcing society's perception or label of Latinas and Latinos as "outsider," "foreigner," or "other".This effect in turn fosters individual and institutionalized hatred and violence. A related external effect is that the stereotypes marginalize the group and silence discourse on issues of importance to the group. The second major insidious consequence of stereotyping, is the internal effect, or the negative effect on the stigmatized. This internal effect attributes a discrediting quality to the victim, which the victim struggles against but may eventually internalize as part of his or her self-image. Thus, the internal effect of stereotyping serves the hegemonic function of having the victim accept his or her negative attributes. The stereotype in essence forces the stigmatized group reflect those qualities that are being stereotyped.
Citation Information
Ediberto Román. "Who Exactly Is Living La Vida Loca: The Legal and Political Consequences of Latino-Latina Ethnic and Racial Stereotypes in Film and Other Media" J. Gender Race & Just. Vol. 4 (2000) p. 37
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/ediberto_roman/23/