English-language Latino themed programming (ELLTP): How does Latino social identity represented in ELLTP relate to Latino viewers' self-esteem?

Date
2012
Authors
Mora, Adolfo R.
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Abstract

In mainstream television, Latino images have largely been absent or negative for the past five decades. Today, not only does English-language Latino themed programming (ELLTP) offer contradictory images to these traditional images, but such content reflects imagery that is culturally relevant to Latinos' social identity. Using social identity theory and self-categorization theory (SCT), this thesis examined how the identity categories (i.e., accessibility, norms, prototype, and fit) embedded in ELLTP content influenced Latino's self-esteem. Four hundred ninety-three ELLTP viewers completed a self-administered questionnaire collected through Facebook in addition to courses at a Latino-serving Southwest university. Hierarchical linear regression analyses were conducted to test whether identity categories predicted shifts in self-esteem either at the personal (i.e., self-worth and self-capability) and/or collective level (i.e., ethnically-involved and ethnically-committed). Results revealed that, with the exception of the fit category, accessibility (i.e., national ethnic identity), norm (e.g., familism and language), and the prototype category (e.g., mainstream value and criminal attributions) predicted shifts in Latinos' self-esteem. Additionally, specific ELLTPs and viewing ELLTP through the Web predicted shifts in Latino's self-esteem. Discussed are various possible internalizations of ELLTP identity categories in relation to viewers' self-esteem. Theoretically, this thesis expanded the applicability of SCT into a media context, but most importantly, how its concepts were related to ELTTP viewers' self-esteem.

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Keywords
Latino Audiences, Latino Media Studies, Latino Social Identity, Media and Self-Esteem, Media Effects, Self-Categorization Theory
Citation
Department
Communication