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Subaltern Communities, Communication in

Gabriela Martínez Escobar

Subject Communication and Media Studies » Communication Studies
Culture » Popular Culture

Place Americas » Central America

Key-Topics community, migration

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405131995.2008.x


In most of Latin America, subaltern populations are those whose primary origins are indigenous, including lower-class mestizo people (i.e., people of mixed origins – indigenous with European) and the urban poor of predominantly indigenous background. Internal migration, urbanization, and modernization are three elements that have influenced transformations in popular communication. For instance, in Peru, television has changed due to socio-economic and political factors. Television came about in 1957 with the altruistic ideal of education, as a plan for modernization, and with →  UNESCO's financial and technical aid ( Perla 1995 ). However, within a year of the birth of television in Peru, US →  television networks NBC and CBS began lending money and providing content for the recently formed local stations. At that point it was clear that television would be primarily a commercial and entertainment enterprise targeting the middle and upper classes rather than subaltern groups (→  Brazil: Media System ; Bolivia: Media System ). For decades, subaltern populations have been excluded from the small screen (→  Television ). Local programming generally featured light-skinned people who spoke standard educated Spanish. In the mid-1990s, however, the advent of →  cable television substantially changed the face of broadcast television, as audiences with the most purchasing power switched ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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