“Eso es! That's it!”: The consumption, identity, representation, and production of Maya & Miguel
Kinsky, Emily S.
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This qualitative case study is informed by cultural studies and seeks to examine the moments of consumption, identity, representation, and production of one particular children’s television program, Maya & Miguel, using the circuit of culture (du Gay, Hall, Janes, Mackay, & Negus, 1997). These four moments from the circuit of culture were examined via in-depth interviews with children, parents, and Scholastic Media personnel; observations of children who regularly view the program; and a textual analysis of 12 episodes of Maya & Miguel. The children who participated offered many details about the characters’ clothing and accessories, but only one mentioned a character’s skin color. The parents reported appreciating the representation of the family, while the children were particularly drawn to the use of humor and depiction of sports. The parents reported feeling safe allowing their children to watch this program because it is educational and is broadcast on PBS. Interviews with Scholastic-related personnel revealed the goals of the program, the process of creating the show, and the manner of promoting it. The textual analysis revealed a number of binary oppositions within the text, including Hispanic:Non-Hispanic, young:old, and male:female. Several stereotypes were maintained, such as an ambitious Asian American student, but others were challenged, including a boy who is both athletic and artistic. There were also two characters with disabilities who might typically be ostracized in society but who were embraced in this text.