Visibilizing quinceañeras as generational and ethnic bridge: Flashpoints of Latina girlhoods

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Quinceañeras, coming-of-age celebrations for girls throughout most of the Americas, mark the moment when a young person, usually but not always a girl, turns 15. This rite of passage marks a symbolic transition from girlhood to adulthood. As an indication of the presence and visibility of Latines and Latinidad in contemporary culture and society, quinceañeras make a de rigeur appearance in most mainstream media content that includes and/or focuses on Latine families and girls. Whether the narrative focuses on Latinidad or includes a sidekick or peripheral Latina/o person or subplot, quinceañeras show up in mainstream media content. As a result, quinceañeras have become a trope of authenticity in mainstream media, signifying the presence of Latina girls and Latinidad as an ethnicity. This chapter explores the increased and visibilized presence of this trope as yet another instance of women of color in general and Latinas in particular being used as a metaphorical bridge to further cultural understanding and inclusion, some of it within Latine culture, and much of it to lend an aura of diversity to an otherwise dominant-culture narrative.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Routledge Companion to Girls' Studies
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9781040000878
ISBN (Print)9780367421168
StatePublished - Apr 30 2024

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities
  • General Social Sciences


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