The location of U.S. Latinidad: Stuck in the Middle, Disney, and the in-between ethnicity

Diana Leon-Boys, Angharad N. Valdivia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article explores Disney’s production and circulation of specific and ambiguous Latinidad by focusing on the Disney Channel television series Stuck in the Middle (2016–2018). Bringing together discourses of girlhoods and Latinidad, and elaborating on post-feminism through ambiguity, the article employs three overlapping units of analysis: the family, the main character, Harley Diaz, and four purposefully selected episodes, to investigate how mainstream cultural producers attempt to represent and reach out to a newly acknowledged diverse audience. Disney, as a major player among mainstream U.S. media industries, functions in relation to demographic shifts as these impinge upon markets and circulation of products. This article makes an intervention into the conundrum between a mainstream producer claiming they are representing Latinidad, and the ethnic audience’s demands for visibility which results in a tension between identifiable presence and stereotypical depictions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)218-232
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Children and Media
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2021


  • Disney
  • Disney Channel
  • girlhood
  • latina/o Studies
  • stuck in the Middle
  • television

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Communication


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