Latinx Politics and Media Celebrity: The Importance of Latinx Audiences

This presentation will examine the contours of Latinx political media and celebrity through the case studies of the “Latinos for Trump” movement and the online fandom surrounding Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (also referred to as “AOC” by her fans). In particular, I will explore how Latinx media audiences make sense of contemporary politics vis-à-vis political celebrities. In doing so, the presentation will shed light on Latinx media audiences’ political media diet, complicated relationships to political parties and ideals, and the role of regionalism, ethnicity, and religion in political media consumption. Latinx political orientations range widely across conservative and progressive spectrums, often contingent upon national origin and geography. For example, Cubans in South Florida historically tend to be more politically conservative than other Latinx groups. At the same time, Democratic Socialist Congresswoman Ocasio Cortez has garnered a fan base that cuts across race, class, and generation. This presentation also considers how media research is needed on Latinx media audiences in order to make sense of how the “Latinx vote” is constructed in a shifting political landscape in the U.S.

Jillian Báez
Associate Professor of Africana and Puerto Rican/Latino Studies at Hunter College, City University of New York