June 23, 2001

Both Hollywood and corporate America are taking note of the marketing power of the growing Latino population in the United States. And as salsa takes over both the dance floor and the condiment shelf, the influence of Latin culture is gaining momentum in American society as a whole. Yet the increasing visibility of Latinos in mainstream culture has not been accompanied by a similar level of economic parity or political enfranchisement. In this important, original, and entertaining book, Arlene Davila provides a critical examination of the Hispanic marketing industry and of its role in the making and marketing of U.S. Latinos.

Davila finds that Latinos' increased popularity in the marketplace is simultaneously accompanied by their growing exotification and invisibility. She scrutinizes the complex interests that are involved in the public representation of Latinos as a generic and culturally distinct people and questions the homogeneity of the different Latino subnationalities that supposedly comprise the same people and group of consumers. In a fascinating discussion of how populations have become reconfigured as market segments, she shows that the market and marketing discourse become important terrains where Latinos debate their social identities and public standing.

From the Back Cover

"Davila has entered the back rooms of a new and important sector of the advertising industry, shedding light on the people and businesses that are working to exploit the marketing hot buttons of Hispanic USA. Latinos, Inc. could become a scholarly milestone, a vivid portrayal of the strange marriage between cultural anthropology and merchandising strategies that forms an elemental ingredient of U.S. consumer society."Stuart Ewen, author of PR! A Social History of Spin.

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