That's what they see on TV, that's how they view our culture." Exploring the relationship between cultural identification and media representations of Latina/os, and Latino students' experiences, identity development and relationship with the university they attend Public Deposited

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  • March 19, 2019
  • Erba, Joseph
    • Affiliation: Hussman School of Journalism and Media
  • This dissertation connects media's racialization of Latinos and the educational challenges of Latino students in the U.S. by focusing on how undergraduate Latino students perceive the role media play in shaping their college experiences. It uses a symbolic interactionism framework to explore the influence that Latino students with different levels of cultural identification ascribe to media representations of their racial/ethnic group. The dissertation also addresses Latino students' identity development and the relationship they develop with the university they attend. Twelve Latino students (6 high-identifiers and 6 low-identifiers) attending a predominantly white public university took part in a series of in-depth interviews. High-identifying Latino students perceived media to negatively affect their experiences and interactions with other students, especially white students, while low-identifying Latino students were not as sensitive to Latina/o media representations. Similarly, most high-identifying Latino students developed coping mechanisms to protect their self-esteem from media's dominant representations of Latina/os as criminals and uneducated immigrants. All Latino students reported having developed a positive relationship with the university, although high-identifying students were more critical of certain university initiatives geared toward Latina/os. Theoretical implications and recommendations for improving Latino students' college experience are discussed.
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  • In Copyright
  • Vargas, Lucila
  • Doctor of Philosophy
Graduation year
  • 2013

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