"You Just Don't Know How Much He Meant": Deviancy, Death, and Devaluation

Lisa Marie Cacho

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article is an examination of the ways in which value is not ascribed to the lives and deaths of young Latino men. Because “Latino/a” functions as a signifier for social deviancy in the United States, the social and physical deaths of young Latino men are always already justified in mainstream media. Yet because certain practices and performances of young Latino masculinity are often constructed as the negative “excess” of gender and sexual norms, oftentimes young Latino men cannot be ascribed value through alternative representations either if they attempt to counter accusations of racialized social deviancy by providing evidence of gender and sexual normativity. This article provides a detailed examination of the dominant and alternative narratives that would not or could not ascribe social value to one such early death: Brandon Jesse Martinez Jr. (1980–2000).
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)182-208
JournalLatino Studies
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 2007


  • deviancy
  • death
  • masculinity
  • criminalization
  • media representation
  • drunk-driving


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