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The Colorblind ScreenTelevision in Post-Racial America$
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Sarah Nilsen and Sarah E. Turner

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781479809769

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479809769.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM NYU Press SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.nyu.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of NYU Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NYSO for personal use.date: 26 June 2022

Mainstreaming Latina Identity

Mainstreaming Latina Identity

Culture-Blind and Colorblind Themes in Viewer Interpretations of Ugly Betty

(p.285) 12 Mainstreaming Latina Identity
The Colorblind Screen

Philip A. Kretsedemas

NYU Press

This chapter uses audience studies and focus groups to examine viewers' ability and willingness to decode racial subtexts in Ugly Betty. The findings suggest that while audiences do react positively to the Latino/a main characters, they were unable or unwilling to recognize disparities between lighter- and darker-skinned Latina/o characters. It bears noting, however, that media constructions of white (or near-white) Latina/os sit alongside another history of media stereotypes that depict Latina/os as dangerous, hypersexualized, and buffoonish racial minorities. These stereotypes resonate with the Latino threat narrative that has been documented. The chapter's analysis uses the colorblind racial ideologies that have been documented by other race scholars as a starting point for conceptualizing the interpretations of the research participants. It looks at how a multiracial and multiethnic sample of television viewers talked about Latina/o culture and identity.

Keywords:   audience studies, racial subtexts, Ugly Betty, Latino/a characters, media constructions, hypersexualized, racial minorities, stereotypes, colorblind racial ideologies, Latina/o culture and identity

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