Visiting the Mexican American Family: Tortilla Soup as Culinary Tourism

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Abstract:

This essay argues that the film Tortilla Soup constructs a mediated culinary touristic experience for mainstream spectators who are invited to vicariously visit a Mexican American family. Analysis of the film's neocolonialist discourse demonstrates how the commercialization and appropriation of food culture mirror hegemonic tendencies to market and consume ethnicity. Tortilla Soup attempts to deconstruct homogenizing notions of Latinidad. Yet it straddles and ultimately collapses these divergent discourses through its treatment of food, sound, gender, and space. Ultimately, Tortilla Soup reaffirms hegemonic ideologies about Latinos/as that privilege whiteness and contain ethnic "otherness."

Keywords: Film; Food; Latino; Neocolonialism; Tourism

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14791420701459723

Publication date: September 1, 2007

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