Fractal capitalism and the Latinization of the US market
This study proposes the analysis of four different aspects of the Latinization of the US market as showcases representing the multifaceted nature of the phenomenon. The first case explores the incorporation of the maize culture and the invention of corn chips and tortilla chips in the USA. The second case analyzes the emergence and popularization of a trend in gourmet cuisine called Nuevo Latino and its impact in the restaurant industry. The third example studies the Hägen Dazs’ Dulce de Leche phenomenon as a fair example of glocal practices in late capitalism. Finally, the fourth case assesses the development of Goya Food Inc. and their role in producing subjectivities and branded communities not only among Hispanics, but also among members of the general American market. The Latinization of the US market takes place in different instances, segments or niches, targeting a myriad of groups with different marketing strategies. From the exoticism of gourmet cuisine to the mass production of tortilla chips, this process encompasses not only the introduction of new products and flavors to the market, but also the transformation of traditional Latin American artifacts and practices and its correspondent re-semantization among other groups of consumers. Inspired by critical theory, cultural anthropology, and semiotics, this project analyzes the Latinization of the US market within the frame of coloniality of power. This concept addresses conflicts among structures of power (the state, the market, the economy), discursive formations (latinidad), and systems of knowledge (Hispanic marketing & advertising). Coloniality of power will evidence how in late capitalism, the commodification of culture and the colonization of lifeworlds results from the implementation of marketing practices as neocolonial forces leading to the reconfiguration and transformation of subjectivities, both Hispanic and non-Hispanic through consumption. This is a project in cultural studies implementing a transdisciplinary approach. Rhetorical and critical analyses are the basic tools employed by the researcher in deconstruction the Latinization of the US market as an example of Fractal Capitalism.