Gendering Latinidad through the Elián News Discourse about Cuban Women

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This article examines the interconnected discourse of gender and Latinidad circulated through the Elián González national US news coverage by focusing on the journalistic images and narratives circulated about Cuban women. It theorizes that these stories mediate public understanding of Cuban politics and identity specifically, and Latino/a politics and identity more generally, in ways that are both gendered and racialized. The study concludes that: (1) journalistic texts focusing on Cuban women are informed by pre-existing Latina archetypes; (2) by foregrounding Cuban women within the journalistic coverage, historically established ethnic-specific images of US Cuban immigration and US Cuban exile identity are problematized; and (3) the cumulative gendering of the Elián González news story contributes to the continuing shift in the cultural and symbolic status of the Cuban exile community within the contemporary US imaginary about Latino/as and Latinidad.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)179-204
JournalLatino Studies
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 1 2005


  • Cuban
  • discourse
  • Elián González
  • gender
  • racialization
  • news representations


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