The incursion of Azteca America into the U.S. Latino media

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Date

2007-12

Authors

Piñón López, Juan de Dios, 1963-

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Abstract

This dissertation investigates the dynamics of production surrounding United States Spanish-language television by analyzing the strategies followed by newcomer Azteca America in it attempts to become an attractive television option for Latinos. Given the scarcity of research on the production approach of U.S. Latino media, this study interrogates the site of production of Spanish-language Television--that is, the site in which professional routines and presumably legitimate knowledge about audiences are the basis for the reproduction of particular representations of Latinos in the United States. The incursion of Azteca America into this realm allows me to reflect on the structural and complex relationship between the U.S. Latino and Mexican television industries. Azteca America's process of creating a network identity, along with strategies of production, representations, and distribution reveal longstanding assumptions about television's formulas of success, which are the result of the way in which U.S. Latinos are imagined by the corporation. My analysis is informed by the cultural economy perspective that evaluates corporate practices as relevant cultural objects with economic value; it is also informed by Pierre Bourdieu's theory of logic of practice, which allows me to situate the corporation as a social space as I evaluate its corporate routines as a site of the expression of larger social dynamics. A global approach gives me the theoretical tools to think about the transnational character of the U.S. Latino industry, its audiences, and the crossborder nature of Azteca America's venture. The presence of Azteca America in U.S. broadcasting television reaffirms, on some level, the ways in which Latin Americans claim "authentic" knowledge regarding the programming and representations delivered to Latino audiences. This process is possible because of the fluid identity with attendant flexible meanings that accompanies the hybrid and multilayered identities of the Latina/o population in the U.S.

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