In my Latino/Latina literature class, I encourage students to critically analyze racism and discrimination, especially as portrayed in the mainstream media.
We begin by reading about Charles Ramírez Berg’s six media stereotypes of Latinos/Latinas: the bandido, the harlot, the male buffoon, the female clown, the Latin lover and the dark lady.
Next, we watch several Dos Equis “The Most Interesting Man in the World” commercials on youtube.com (e.g., “Dos Equis Sword Fight”) and assess how the male protagonist is portrayed, how he interacts with others on screen (especially women) and how this representation matches the Latin lover stereotype.
We replay the videos as often as necessary to observe the subtle nuances that are frequently missed during the first viewing (e.g., the number of women on screen at one time, the number of romantic glances aimed at the protagonist).
After the students have finished watching the selected videos, their task is to reflect on their observations and answer the following questions:
- What do these commercials indicate about the representation of Latinos/Latinas on TV?
- What are your thoughts and feelings about these commercials?
- The Latin lover stereotype is often perceived as positive. Does that make it acceptable?
Students address these questions and explain how these particular Dos Equis commercials reinforce the stereotype of the Latin lover. They describe what occurs in the commercials, how these activities and behaviors are stereotypical and how the stereotypes affect the way Latinos/Latinas are perceived.
Daniel Ian Rubin
ALMA D’ ARTE CHARTER HIGH SCHOOL
Las Cruces, N.M.
Can you distinguish propaganda from other forms of mass communication?
Activities address the following standards using the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts.
CCSS RL.9-10.6, RI.9-10.1, RI.9-10.8, W.9-10.1, SL.9-10.1