This study examined how the drama series East Los High represents Latina women, and how these representations challenge traditional cultural values and ideologies that regulate social expectations for female behaviors and actions. With a cultural studies theoretical framework, I conducted a textual analysis of the 24-episode series using a combination of ideological and feminist criticism. I identified three major themes in my analysis that were tools of empowerment for Latina women: (1) deconstruction of patriarchal dominance, (2) redefining familismo, and (3) the pursuit of education. My analysis revealed three major conclusions: (1) Adoption of an individualistic ideology encouraged Latinas to make choices that honor their own best interests, and by doing so, suggested they would be able to achieve anything they set their minds to; (2) Hegemonic negotiation of Latin@ and American ideologies served to maintain some facet of cultural identity for Latina women; and (3) East Los High debunked stereotypical representations of Latina women by portraying multidimensional characters with diverse aspirations and desires.


Atay, Ahmet


Communication Studies


Critical and Cultural Studies | Film and Media Studies | Other Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies


cultural studies, representation, ideology, Latina women

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



© Copyright 2014 Rebecca J. Lipps