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Sounds of BelongingU.S. Spanish-language Radio and Public Advocacy$
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Dolores Ines Casillas

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780814770658

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814770658.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM NYU Press SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.nyu.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of NYU Press Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NYSO for personal use.date: 28 September 2021

Acoustic Allies

Acoustic Allies

Early Latin-Themed and Spanish-Language Radio Broadcasts, 1920s–1940s

Chapter:
(p.21) 1 Acoustic Allies
Source:
Sounds of Belonging
Author(s):

Dolores Inés Casillas

Publisher:
NYU Press
DOI:10.18574/nyu/9780814770658.003.0001

This chapter critiques U.S. on-air programs intended to “charm and culturally enlighten” Latino-Americans. These programs posed as romanticized “borderless” sites where cultural groups traversed geographical and cultural boundaries. They produced a cultured and sophisticated image of Latin America and peddled themes of hemispheric unity. However, a clear disjuncture existed between the friendly on-air imaginings of Latin Americans and the actual legal and social controversies that plagued Mexicans. U.S. on-air programs seldom discussed the political and social struggles occurring with Mexicans in the United States, particularly the national news reporting Mexicans as the primary cause of immigration problems. Hence, American listeners developed “imaginary friendships” with Mexicans while Mexican communities living were being depicted as unruly neighbors.

Keywords:   U.S. on-air programs, imaginary friendships, Latino-Americans, cultural groups, hemispheric unity, immigration problems

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