Document Type


Date of Degree

Spring 2013

Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In

Mass Communications

First Advisor

Andsager, Julie L

First Committee Member

Durham, Meenakshi G

Second Committee Member

Hayes, Joy

Third Committee Member

Singer, Jane

Fourth Committee Member

Sosale, Sujatha


The purpose of this dissertation was to examine the ways in which the media products of the non-profit organization Latinitas revealed ideologies and discourses about identity. The organization purports to empower Latina youth via media education. The media products include two online magazines that feature content for and by the members of the organization. The media products also include a Web site where members of the organization can post and update individual blogs and videos. While not the focus of this dissertation, it is important to note that the organization also hosts various after-school programs and workshops that teach its members about issues related to media education.

The study was managed in two stages. First, a content analysis of the two magazines was conducted to reveal which ideologies were featured in the magazine articles. Literature suggests that the two most relevant identities to Latina girls are gender and ethnicity. As such, special attention was given to ideologies that directed attention to those identities. Second, a discourse analysis of the blogs and videos hosted on the Web site was performed to reveal whether the featured ideologies carried over into the media product of the members of the organization. Results suggested that the magazines focused on issues of gender while mostly ignoring issues of ethnicity. The blogs housed on the Web site reflected the focus on gender but were also the only place where talk of ethnicity was dominant. The videos were generally not used as a means to express identity and were vehicles for displaying the activities of the organization.


Cultural Studies, Girl Studies, Identity, Latinas, Mass Communications, Media Production


vi, 184 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 175-184).


Copyright 2013 Marilda Janet Oviedo