New Edition: Arlene Dávila’s “Latinos, Inc.”

Arlene Dávila’s Latinos, Inc.: The Marketing and Making of a People, has just been published today (September 11, 2012) by University of California Press. First published in 2001, Latinos, Inc. is now available in an updated edition, with a new preface by Junot Díaz.

Description: Both Hollywood and corporate America are taking note of the marketing power of the growing Latino population in the United States. And as salsa takes over both the dance floor and the condiment shelf, the influence of Latin culture is gaining momentum in American society as a whole. Yet the increasing visibility of Latinos in mainstream culture has not been accompanied by a similar level of economic parity or political enfranchisement. In this important, original, and entertaining book, Arlene Dávila provides a critical examination of the Hispanic marketing industry and of its role in the making and marketing of U.S. Latinos.
Dávila finds that Latinos’ increased popularity in the marketplace is simultaneously accompanied by their growing exotification and invisibility. She scrutinizes the complex interests that are involved in the public representation of Latinos as a generic and culturally distinct people and questions the homogeneity of the different Latino subnationalities that supposedly comprise the same people and group of consumers. In a fascinating discussion of how populations have become reconfigured as market segments, she shows that the market and marketing discourse become important terrains where Latinos debate their social identities and public standing.

Arlene Dávila (born in Puerto Rico) is professor of Anthropology, Social and Cultural Analysis at New York University (NYU). She holds an MA in Anthropology and Museum Studies from NYU and a PhD in Cultural Anthropology from The Graduate Center, CUNY. She is the author of Sponsored Identities: Cultural Politics in Puerto Rico, Latinos Inc: The Marketing and the Making of a People, Barrio Dreams: Puerto Ricans, Latinos and the Neoliberal City, Latino Spin: Public Image and the Whitewashing of Race, and Culture Works: Space, Value, and Mobility across the Neoliberal Americas. Latino Spin received the Latin American Studies Association prize for the best book in Latino Studies. She also co-edited (with Agustín Lao-Montes) Mambo Montage: The Latinization of New York.

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