Language And Culture During The Spanish Language Essay

Language And Culture During The Spanish Language Essay

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In Mapping Latinidad: Language and Culture in the Spanish TV Battlefront, Arlene Davila explains that both Univision and Telemundo act as self-appointed guardians of the Spanish language as the preeminent qualifier of Latinidad, largely due to their emphasis on linguistic proximity and program synergy between US Latino and Latin American markets to ensure importation and exportation potential and to protect their financial interests in Venevision and Televisa, and TV Azteca, respectively. Furthermore, both networks frame the Spanish language as authentic due to assumptions of race, class and backgrounds within this language identity and employ generic “unaccented” or Mexican Spanish, which also is a byproduct of the importation of programs, as well as, a tactic for successful program exportation.
Univision differs from Telemundo in its heightened emphasis on Latinidad as a transcontinental identity which transcends the US Latin American divide, an identity in which, next to the Spanish language, Latin America is the central signifier of Latinidad, due to contemporary representations of culture and identity tied to territory, past, and heritage. Therefore, the Latin American territory, not US Latino/a culture, is source of Latino/a cultural authenticity, and thus, construction within their programming. This is partially due to the assumption that Latinos/as in the US are primarily monolingual, Spanish speaking recently immigrated Latin American natives, prompting Univision to rely heavily on importation of Latin American programs and actors in order to position itself as a way to connect and reconnect Latinos/as with their heritage, the world they have experienced or are told is Latin America. This generates the construction of Lat...


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...think they should do so without the mockery that currently defines these representations. Due to the growth of the Latino/a population in the US, as well as the proliferation of the English language around the world as a first or second language, I think that they are missing out on an important market. They should also showcase US Latino/a political, cultural, and racial sensibilities more, rather than rely on strictly US or strictly Latin American values and sensibilities which are not entirely relevant to US Latinos/as who are a synthesis of these sensibilities and, therefore, may not connect wholeheartedly to one or the other. That being said I think that, because the US has such a large Latino/a population, Latinidad should also be represented more in mainstream media, which could prove especially successful due to the increased English dominant Latino/a market.

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