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Hybridized, Glocalized and hecho en Mexico: Foreign Influences on Mexican TV Programming Since the 1950s

Abstract

Employing theories of cultural hybridization, this paper argues that Mexican entertainment programming – in particular the telenovela – is fundamentally hybrid, a finding that undermines its celebrated mexicanidad (Mexican-ness). The novela’s history is traced, illustrating its global and local characteristics. It is also argued that, as the novela has attained a formal stability, its overt hybridity has diminished. Moreover, claims for recent regionalization, whereby producers adopt South American social realism or maximize exportability by universalizing their product, have been overstated. It may be useful to think of the telenovela as hybridized during its early development, but authenticated as a Mexican artifact since the 1970s.

Andrew Paxman

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