Drugs, Thugs, and Divas Telenovelas and Narco-Dramas in Latin America

ISBN-10: 0292717121

ISBN-13: 9780292717121

Edition: 2008

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Soap opera speaks a universal language, presenting characters and plots that resonate far beyond the culture that creates them. Latin American soap operastelenovelashave found enthusiastic audiences throughout the Americas and Europe, as well as in Egypt, Russia, and China, while Mexican narco-dramas have become highly popular among Latinos in the United States. In this first comprehensive analysis of telenovelas and narco-dramas, Hugo Benavides assesses the dynamic role of melodrama in creating meaningful cultural images to explain why these genres have become so successful while more elite cultural productions are declining in popularity. Benavides offers close readings of the Colombian telenovelas Betty la fea (along with its Mexican and U.S. reincarnations La fea maacute;s bella and Ugly Betty ), Adriaacute;n estaacute; de visita , and Pasioacute;n de gavilanes ; the Brazilian historical telenovela Xica ; and a variety of Mexican narco-drama films. Situating these melodramas within concrete historical developments in Latin America, he shows how telenovelas and narco-dramas serve to unite peoples of various countries and provide a voice of rebellion against often-oppressive governmental systems. Indeed, Benavides concludes that as one of the most effective and lucrative industries in Latin America, telenovelas and narco-dramas play a key role in the ongoing reconfiguration of social identities and popular culture.
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Book details

List price: $24.95
Copyright year: 2008
Publisher: University of Texas Press
Publication date: 3/15/2008
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 245
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.00" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.836

Frederick Luis Aldama is Arts and Humanities Distinguished Professor of English at Ohio State University.O. Hugo Benavides is Assistant Professor of Anthropology, Latin American and Latino Studies, and International Political Economy and Development at Fordham University in Bronx, New York.

Melodrama as Ambiguous Signifier: Latin American Telenovelas and Narco-Dramas
Seeing Xica and the Melodramatic Unveiling of Colonial Desire
Producing the Global West through Latin Tales of Seduction and Envy
Karen's Seduction: The Racial Politics of Appropriate Dinner Guests
A Mother's Wrath and the Complex Disjuncturing of Class
Being Narco: The Evolution of a Continental Sensibility
Saintly Figures and Icons: The Migration of a Continental Dream
La Reina del Sur: Gender, Racial, and National Contestations of Regional Identity
Sex, Drugs, and Cumbia: The Hybrid Nature of Culture
Conclusion: The Postcolonial Politics of Melodrama
Postscript: Ugly Betty
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