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Guada-narco-lupe, Maquilarañas and the Discursive Construction of Gender and Difference on the US–Mexico Border in Mexican Media Re-presentations

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This article explores the ways in which Mexican media works to construct gender and difference in relation to the US–Mexico border. Through a discourse analysis of one Mexican newspaper, I argue that discursive violence, ‘narratives of eviction' and silences are implicated in the construction of women as weak, sexualized objects, and Mexicans as raced, backward ‘others'. In so doing, I elaborate several discursive moments, specifically, ‘woman as anonymous, replaceable body'; ‘woman as victim of the border city'; ‘Guada-narco-lupe'; ‘woman as dependent appendage'; and ‘othered Mexican'; to illustrate that the production of knowledge about gendered subjects is a political and discursive practice embedded in national ideologies. Mexican media representations present a rich palette for thinking about constructions of gender and difference along a raced, sexed border. An investigation of the unequal and essentialist elements present in specific newspaper articles offers a fresh perspective on the socio-spatial aspects of particular discursive strategies and their role in underpinning dominant textual images.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: University of Kentucky, USA

Publication date: March 1, 2005

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