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Latinidad and Consumer Culture

Lisa Peñaloza

Subject Sociology » Consumption, Sociology of Race and Ethnicity

Key-Topics consumerism

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405124331.2007.x


Latinidad, most literally, is the identity of Latinos/as. More figuratively, it is a sensibility and way of being-in-the-world that expresses who one is and what one's culture is about. This quality emanates from a community of very diverse people and is used by them to relate to one another, drawing from their similarities, even as they contest it based on their differences. Born at the multiple intersections of Native American peoples, Europeans, and blacks, it connotes an amalgam of ritual traditions and values – amor , familia , respeto , compromisos , pasion ; that is, love, family, respect, accomplishment, and a passion for living – at once very real, yet imagined, dynamic and organic. The geographical coordinates of its diaspora are no less complex, in pertaining to those of Latin American ancestry in the US and in Central and South American nations, the Caribbean, Spain, and, to a lesser degree, southern Italy and France. Like other social phenomena, it is individually and collectively engineered and reproduced; internally by Latinos/as, and externally, as attributed to us by non-Latinos/as. When linked to consumer culture, the body of work has sparse but long roots, and has gained in abundance and currency with the rapid growth of the people. Terminology continues to be a challenge, for Latinos/as in identifying ourselves and distinguishing among our various subgroups, ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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