Mobilization <i>en Español</i>

Ricardo Ramírez

in Rallying for Immigrant Rights

Published by University of California Press

Published in print June 2011 | ISBN: 9780520267541
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520948914 | DOI:
Mobilization en Español

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Scholars have long been interested in the effects of mass media on political behavior. There is widespread agreement that Spanish-language radio played a key role in the massive turnout for the protests of spring 2006. This chapter explores what is unique about Spanish-language radio that allowed it to become a powerful resource for promoting political participation in 2006. It also considers how Spanish-language radio enables social and political incorporation by Latinos in the United States, and when this capacity is constrained. It first compares Spanish-language radio to black radio for a better understanding of the medium’s potential as a resource for mobilization. It then presents a case study of Spanish-language radio since 1992 in Los Angeles that reveals a growing capacity to mobilize Latinos by appealing to and activating a common ethnic identity in response to external shocks or urgent needs of the community, including aiding those affected by natural disasters, spurring on the immigration protests, and supporting naturalization and voter registration drives. This same case study, however, also demonstrates that Spanish-language radio, as a mobilization resource, has limitations.

Keywords: Spanish-language radio; mass media; political behavior; protests; political participation; Latinos; United States; black radio; mobilization; Los Angeles

Chapter.  8103 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Migration Studies

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