Latinos and American Popular Culture

by Patricia M. Montilla, Editor

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Cover image for Latinos and American Popular Culture

October 2013


Pages 491
Volumes 1
Size 6 1/8x9 1/4
Topics Race and Ethnicity/Latino and Hispanic Studies

This book offers a complete overview of the contributions of U.S. Latinos to American popular culture and examines the emergence of the U.S. Latino identity.

According to the 2010 Census, Latinos represent more than 16 percent of the total population and are the largest and fastest-growing minority group in the United States. Their vast contributions to popular culture are visible in nearly every aspect of American life and are as diverse as the countries and cultures of origin with which Latinos identify themselves. This book provides a historical overview of the developments in U.S. Latino culture and highlights the most recent expressions of Latino life in American popular culture.

With coverage of topics like Latino representations in television, radio, film, and theater; U.S. Latino literature and art; Latino sports stars in baseball, basketball, boxing, football, and soccer; and contemporary pop music; this book will appeal to general readers and be a useful and engaging resource for high school and college students. The work examines the cultural ties that U.S. Latinos maintain with their country of origin or that of their ancestors, explains why language is a critical cultural marker for Latinos, and identifies how Latinos are changing American popular culture. Insightful information on U.S. Latino identity issues and prevalent cultural stereotypes is also included.


  • Provides comprehensive and detailed coverage of Latino contributions to American popular culture, including art, literature, traditional music, pop music, television, film, sports, and politics
  • Highlights well-known popular culture icons such as Alex Rodriguez, Cesar Millan, George Romero, Jennifer Lopez, Jessica Alba, and Junot Díaz
  • Examines the important roles that the Spanish language, bilingualism, and biculturalism play in nearly all expressions of U.S. Latino popular culture
  • Identifies and carefully considers the diverse subgroups that comprise modern U.S. Latino culture, posing the question, "Has an all-encompassing U.S. Latino consciousness or identity emerged?"
Author Info

Patricia M. Montilla, PhD, is associate professor of Spanish at Western Michigan University. She specializes in contemporary Spanish-American poetry and U.S. Latino literature and culture. Her published works include a book, Parody, the Avant-Garde, and the Poetics of Subversion in Oliverio Girondo and a panoramic study on contemporary Puerto Rican literature of the United States in A Companion to US Latino Literatures. Montilla holds a doctorate in romance languages and literature from the University of Chicago.



"Accessible to readers with little prior knowledge, this book includes everything from performance art to the music of Cuban American singer Pitbull, from musical youth theater to baseball and lucha fibre. Most readers will find something of interest in its pages. Summing Up: Recommended."Choice

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Latinos in a Changing Society cover imageThe Praeger Handbook of Latino Education in the U.S. cover image

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