Television can be thought of as a conduit of creative and political expression, as a reflection of the national imaginary, and as a cultural forum that plays a role in uniting diverse Latinas/os as an imagined community. As a mass medium, it is a site where ideas about Latinas/ os have been enacted on a national scale. Since the inception of English-language television in the late 1940s, series such as I Love Lucy (1951–1957), Chico and the Man (1974–1977), Ugly Betty (2006–2010), and more recently Jane the Virgin (2014–) have presented, reinforced, and occasionally challenged mainstream conceptions of what it means to be Latina/o in the United States. In addition, Spanish-language television, and in recent years, bilingual television have powerfully contributed to the Latina/o imaginary regarding notions of race, gender, class, citizenship, and other axes of identity and social politics.

This essay may be found on page 221 of the printed volume.

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