Whiteness wars in Las niñas bien

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article approaches whiteness in Mexico as the legacy of both the economic and ideological dimensions of the coloniality of power. Mexican cinema, though traditionally an agent in the idealization of the local construct of whiteness, has recently begun to turn a critical lens toward it, as in the case of Alejandra Márquez Abella’s 2018 film, Las niñas bien. Framed within decolonial thought, Bourdieu’s social theory, and critical race theory, this article carries out a close reading of the film to argue that it problematizes the white Mexican elite’s raced and gendered classism. In so doing, Las niñas bien works to dislodge the group as a social and cultural ideal while providing an incisive counterpoint to the democratic myth of Mexican mestizaje.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)256-268
Number of pages13
JournalLatin American and Caribbean Ethnic Studies
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • class
  • mestizaje
  • Mexican cinema
  • race
  • whiteness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Anthropology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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