The Misrepresentation of Mexican-American Holidays and Observations through Children's Literature: A Critical Analysis of Children's Books about Dia de los Muertos, Diez y Seis de Septiembre, the Commemoration of the Battle of the Alamo, Dia de los Reyes Magos, the 12th of December, and Cinco de Mayo

Date
2019
Authors
Perfecto, Irma Cecilia
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Abstract

This research examined children's books that purported to represent a Mexican or Mexican-American holiday. The overall purpose of the study was to analyze the books that claim to inform about these holidays because not much is known about materials published to represent these observations. Messages, both visual and textual, are being conveyed to young readers through these books. Using a qualitative approach, fifty-five books were analyzed. The guiding questions, which were based heavily on the work of Rudine Sims Bishop, were: Who is the primary audience for the books about Latinx holidays/commemorations? How is the concept of a unique Latinx experience defined and dealt with in the books being studied? From what sociocultural perspective have these books been written? and Can the author's purpose be gleaned from the book? After reading and reviewing the literature, a matrix was created using apriori and postiori categories that functioned like code schemes. The data was analyzed with the outcome being four salient findings: there is a serious lack of representation of females in these books, very few of these books serve a purpose as pedagogical tools, several books had evidence of cultural misalignment, and there is a commodification of culture happening within these books.

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Keywords
Commodification of Culture, Cultural Misalignment, Female Representation, Mexican-American Holidays, Pedagogical Tools, Visual Messages
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Department
Bicultural-Bilingual Studies