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Crossing Over: Hybridity and Hegemony in the Popular Media

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In this essay, I assess how the threat of "hybridity," as represented in the mediated construction of Jennifer Lopez, is negotiated and contained in the context of contemporary popular culture. I argue that, in this case, hybridity is shored up against a narrative of authentic "otherness," secured via a particularly gendered and sexualized discourse of excess, in ways that implicitly address a crisis of racial/ethnic integrity and ultimately serve to preserve whiteness. This case study of the contemporary cultural management of hybridity provides meaningful insight as to the continence of whiteness in a (post)modern age as well as to how its borders are marshaled and maintained in the face of attendant challenges.

Keywords: Excess; Hybridity; Popular Culture; Whiteness

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2007-06-01

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