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In Search of Belonging

Latinas, Media, and Citizenship

What Latinas seek, and see, of themselves in the media

In Search of Belonging explores the ways Latina/o audiences in general, and women in particular, make sense of and engage both mainstream and Spanish-language media. Jillian M. BŠezís eye-opening ethnographic analysis draws on the experiences of a diverse group of Latinas in Chicago. In-depth interviews reveal Latinas viewing media images through a lens of citizenship. These women search for nothing less than recognitionóand belongingóthrough representations of Latinas in films, advertising, telenovelas, and TV shows like Ugly Betty and Modern Family. BŠez's personal interactions and research merge to create a fascinating portrait, one that privileges the perspectives of the women themselves as they consume media in complex, unpredictable ways.

Innovative and informed by a wealth of new evidence, In Search of Belonging answers important questions about the ways Latinas perform citizenship in todayís America.

"BŠezís timely and pathbreaking book explores the missing link in the literature of Latinx cultural studies, which have focused on matters of production or representation but seldom on Latinx audiences as active agents of their own. Her in-depth ethnography of audiences makes this original work a must-read for scholars working in the fields of Latinx studies, but also [in] media, American studies, and gender studies more generally."--Arlene DŠvila, author of El Mall: The Spatial and Class Politics of Shopping Malls in Latin America

"BŠez makes a seminal contribution with this smartly researched study. She gives voice to U.S. Latinas as they enact cultural citizenship, offering important insights on how Latinas consume media for a sense of affirmation, belonging, and empowerment."--Mary C. BeltrŠn, author of Latina/o Stars in U.S. Eyes: The Making and Meanings of Film and TV Stardom


Jillian M. BŠez is an assistant professor in the Department of Media Culture at the College of Staten Island, City University of New York.

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