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Comunicación y sociedad

versão impressa ISSN 0188-252X

Comun. soc  no.30 Guadalajara Set./Dez. 2017


General Thematic

Perception and consumption of Telenovelas and Ethnic Identity of male and female Indigenous University Students: The Case of Un Refugio para el Amor 1

Juan Antonio Doncel de la Colina2

Oscar Mario Miranda Villanueva3

2Centro de Estudios Interculturales del Noreste, Universidad Regiomontana, México. Correo electrónico:

3Tecnológico de Monterrey, Escuela de Humanidades y Educación. Correo electrónico:


The mass media is a socializing agent of processes of identity redefinition. Here it is shown how certain content of telenovelas is re-signified and valued by indigenous university students, as well as their identification with it. Focus groups were organized, their results suggest that gender determines how the content of telenovelas is internalized and its link with the consciousness of being indigenous.

Keywords: Consumption; Higher Education Students; Identity; Indigenous in Monterrey; Mexican Telenovela


The city of Monterrey (Nuevo León, México) has become a magnet for the migration of Mexican indigenous people because of the labor market and educational offer, and this has made the challenge of acquiring a higher education especially difficult for this sector of the population. Beyond the difficulty for those of marginalized minority cultures (with their own languages) to acquire higher education, the indigenous migrants who take university courses must undergo an intense transformation process of their ethnic identity. Since mass media is one of the principal socializing agents that affects the construction of identity, we have sought to identify how meanings, values, and interpretations given to the media and its abstract content can become concrete and accepted by the visualization of a specific selection of images, programs, and audiovisual genres.

Doncel (2016a, 2016b), from the results of the first stages of a larger research project, suggests that the variable of gender stands out as a descriptive element in the interpretations and identifications generated by students. Furthermore, in this research, high school students are characterized by limited discourse, while university students are critical agents, generators of elaborate and reasonably substantiated discourse. Therefore, in the second stage of this field work, the decision was made to eliminate discussion groups with high school students, and instead concentrate on university students. Thus, two discussion groups of indigenous university students were established, one with men and another with women. Both came about from the examples of media products that spontaneously appeared in the field work previously mentioned. Specifically, we refer here to the reactions caused by the trailer of the telenovela Un refugio para el amor4 (see Figure 1), a production of the company Televisa, which has a long tradition of telenovelas starring young beautiful women who are supposedly indigenous (Yara, Simplemente María, María Isabel, etc.). The heroine of this story is Luciana, who comes to Mexico City, fleeing the abuse of her home town’s cacique. Once in the city, the structure of the story will repeat the Mexican telenovelas with an imaginary modern Snow White, contextualized in an urban environment.

Source: YouTube,

Figure 1 Poster of the telenovela Un refugio para el amor. 

There are two theoretical concepts that should be considered for the discussion of the findings of this research: identity (Alasuutari, 2004; Althusser, 1971; Durkheim, 1984; Foucault, 1978), and the framework of domestication (Campbell, 1992; Gurevitch, Levy & Roch, 1991; Miranda, 2014, 2016; Morley, 2007; Morley & Silverstone, 1990; Silverstone, Hirsch & Morley, 1992). The concept of identity is discussed and contrasted with the categories proposed by Alasuutari (2004), principally: subject position, legitimations, coping strategies, and group consciousness. On the other hand, the framework for domestication is discussed in function of its four stages: appropriation, objectification, incorporation, and conversion.

Theoretical Background

Siapera (2010) made studies related to ethnocultural group audiences and their consumption of audiovisual contents. Although this revision reveals data related to the types of audiovisual content and the platforms used by these groups in order to satisfy their needs of information and entertainment, the studies do not reveal much about the manner in which audiovisual content is consumed by this specific audience or whether that consumption includes a sense of belonging and identity.

The debate on ethnic identity and the resistance to international or foreign cultural tendencies has been discussed from the macrosociological focus of communication (Miranda, 2016), posing questions related to the conditions of globalization, such as the concepts in audiovisual products and their influence on the daily life of migrant, minority, or diasporic populations. This debate raises the question of how audiovisual products belonging to corporations and giant conglomerates are consumed by members of a minority group, with the dilemma of whether these people can change their identity and join world culture (Lechner & Boli, 2005) or resist international tendencies and preserve their identity, thus guaranteeing cultural diversity in the world (Berger & Huntington, 2002; Siapera, 2010).

This study, however, makes use of a microevidencial and empirical focus related to the consumption of audiovisual content by indigenous university students who migrated to the city of Monterrey. Migratory situations caused by different reasons in a variety of indigenous student’s ages. Two theoretical concepts will be used: identity and the framework of domestication.


In contrast to Durkheim (1984) and Althusser (1971), who emphasized the way individuals succumb to institutions through the work relationship, Foucault (1978) identified power manifestations in discourse. In the last few decades, this line of study has continued to develop through Alasuutari (2004; Alasuutari & Qadir, 2014). This author discusses the flow of ideas through contemporary social actors5, and proposes analysis of the concept of identity in four stages: subject position, legitimations, coping strategies, and group consciousness.

The subject position (Alasuutari, 2004) is concerned with the role that is incorporated and sustained by an individual or group of people. Alasuutari suggests that the types of subject positioning are potentially infinite, but those that seem evident are the dimensions of said positions because they can become holistic, strictly defined by the subject’s condition. Nevertheless, there are other situations in which the position of the subject is not so clearly defined. In such occasions, the subject wanders from one position to another because the normative conditions of physical space allow it. This is the situation faced by the migrant indigenous university students comprising the universe of this research.

Another instance mentioned by this author to analyze the concept of identity is that of legitimations (Alasuutari, 2004). According to Alasuutari’s theories, the categories and descriptions of the positioning of the subject can be studied with rhetorical strategies: naturalization, analogies, and framing, which allows different perspectives. The naturalization of situations in everyday life, which obey the order of human institutions, reveals and justifies inherent positions of human relationships in a wide range of themes. For example, the conceptualization by certain Latin American social groups of woman’s role as a housewife reveals normative naturalization inherited from local institutions by the citizens of the region. Another tactic commonly used is that of analogy, referring to the similarity of situations or distinct things. The other tactic mentioned by this author is that of frames that offer perspectives, which can give prominence to the position of a subject within a favorable context.

While legitimations are developed with the discursive objective of acceptance and recognition of the subject position in a private or individual way, coping strategies (Alasuutari, 2004) must be public. The subject uses public discourse which justifies or criticizes his/her position to maneuver, and such maneuvers can only be understood within a social context. Coping strategies are a type of discursive transformation that reaffirm the subject position from public to private discourse, and the external part of such a position is ignored. According to Alasuutari, these strategies are social, not individual, because they are elaborated through public discourse within a social context. Therefore, the adoption by an individual has repercussions in the public discourse of a specific social group.

Finally, group consciousness (Alasuutari, 2004) is the other stage concerning identity as mentioned by the author. This stage involves shared situations, experiences, concepts, and emotions with other people. From the time of birth, humans are placed within a framework of situations that shape our belonging to specific groups, and in that sense our identity politics are created and re-enforced with time. It is noteworthy that this framework in the first place is an unconscious imposition. As time passes, and with certain integral maturity, humans manage to assimilate or become conscious of situations, experiences, concepts, and emotions shared with other humans, to later exercise each one in moments of identity conceptualization.


Silverstone, Hirsch and Morley (1992) propose four distinct stages for understanding how individuals domesticate electronic devices or audiovisual texts in their daily life: appropriation, objectification, incorporation, and conversion. Although these four stages have been proposed for study within the context of the consumption of new technologies and mediated texts, little has been discussed about the consumption of the latter, because academics in this tradition have focused mainly on evaluating the domestication of electronic devices or new technologies in the daily life of individuals (Campbell, 1992; Gurevitch, Levy & Roch, 1991; Morley, 2007; Morley & Silverstone, 1990). Therefore, there has been almost no discussion of how ideas flow from the audiovisual text into the daily life of the consumers (Miranda, 2014, 2016), or how we can describe not only a domestication, but also an imposition or negotiation according to the proposals of other authors (Hall, 1980; Liebes, 1996; Livingstone & Lunt, 1994).

For the purpose of this research, appropriation (Silverstone, Hirsch & Morley, 1992) refers to the act of extracting an idea from an audiovisual text from the public arena into private life. Objectification is to provide a space for reflecting on our daily lives at home for discussion of an idea. Incorporation implies investing time in said idea. And finally, conversation is attributing a distinct meaning to an idea, and making it available to a greater public, outside of home and within the immediate circle of family and friends.

The process of studying domestication is somewhat laborious, but it can define important situations within the global order. For example, it can determine if there is some degree of homogenization in consumers’ thought processes, or if they are skeptical of the information flowing and available through media and new technologies. Therefore, for the current research, it is important to know how specific individuals react to the consumption of telenovelas.

Data and Methodology

Before the focus groups were designed (Bloor, Frankland, Thomas & Robson, 2001) a comprehensive content analysis was performed (Krippendorff, 2004) on the most diverse media products, in order to select the most representative ones, with the greatest significance, which could act as triggers for discussion. For this reason, and in order to contextualize the framework from the resulting debate, it is necessary to describe and interpret the products resulting from this search. The interpretation of these products, from an etic6 point of view, was not carried out in order to condition the responses, but rather to assure their semantic richness. The moderators were supplied with an a priori list of meanings that could be suggested only if these did not appear spontaneously in the debates (a condition that did not occur in any of the groups).

After the debate about a commercial from the Instituto Nacional de Lenguas Indígenas (INALI),7 a fragment was shown from the trailer of the telenovela, whose star was supposedly indigenous:8Un refugio para el amor.9 In this audiovisual product, the research team could use content analysis to identify possible debate themes such as the following: the relationship of the indigenous characters with the rural population, the rural environment, and nature; the appearance of certain symbols considered Mexican, and Mexicanness or national identity; the extension of indigenous stereotypes;10 body control and cultural regulation of sexuality;11 the identification of physical traits characteristic of indigenous people and media discrimination of those traits; the treatment and social/cultural importance of the elderly; the importance of family ties; the importance of religion and ways of understanding and practicing it; the projection of occupations characteristic of indigenous women in the city;12 cultural regulation of differentiated gender relations; the problem of migration to the city and the moral shock caused by different concepts of good and evil.

During November 2015, we held two simultaneous focus groups in the installations of civil associations who work to promote the rights of indigenous immigrants to the city of Monterrey: Zihuakali and ZihuameMochilla. To encourage rapport before the discussion groups began, there was a get-together among the indigenous student participants, the discussion group moderators, and students majoring in communication at the Universidad Regiomontana, who gave support and were awarded university credit for a subject in communication: Análisis Cualitativo en Comunicación. These young students from Monterrey, from the upper middle class, actively participated in the creation of the methodological tools, as well as mixing in as observers in the discussion groups.

To summarize, the participants debated about the relevance or absence of relevance of the projected contents and the sociocultural realities they currently experienced, either as members of the society they now belonged to, or in their communities of origin. A series of concluding questions for reflection were made for integration of the experience, in order to convert the last part of the discussion into a methodological tool, as a sort of intervention session which could create consciousness about the power of mass media and the creation of an individual’s ethnic identity.

The group of men included 8 members, all between 20 and 24 years old, except for one man of 33, a graduate of industrial engineering. These university students were majoring in different subjects, ranging from mechatronics to philosophy and letters, mechanical engineering, agronomy, and law. One of the participants, at the time of the discussion group, had previously dropped out of his university studies and now returned and taken the admission exam for the Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León. The participants’ origins were equally diverse. In any case, the states with most immigrants to Nuevo León (Olvera, Doncel & Muñiz, 2014) were Hidalgo, Veracruz, San Luis Potosí y Querétaro. Six of the participants spoke Náhuatl, another Otomí and another Tének. As far as using the media, almost all the group enjoyed social media.13 Approximately half said they read the newspaper and watched television. A few said they listened to the radio and only one mentioned going to movies.

There were 8 members in the women’s group, 19 and 25 years old, with the exceptions of a young woman 17 and another 27. All were from the states of Veracruz, Querétaro, San Luis Potosí, and most (4) from Oaxaca. Two of the women spoke Náhuatl, two Mixteca, one Mazateca, another Otomí, one Mixe, and one Tének. Three of the women were studying or had studied nursing, the rest banking and finance, social work, human development, law, systems engineering, and psychology.14 Two of the women had not finished their studies.15 All agreed that the media they most used was television, three mentioning it specifically, and almost all said they used Internet, either on their cell phones or on the computer.


The intention of this article is to find answers related to the identity redefinition of indigenous university students who had immigrated to the city of Monterrey. Three questions were posed in this respect: on the one hand, to know they way that the content of the telenovela Un refugio para el amor was assigned meaning by the students of ethnic origin; on the other hand, to understand the way they valued said content; and finally, to learn how these students identified with the content of this telenovela. The four subsections that follow will attempt to provide answers to these questions: the difference in telenovela consumption by men and women, elements of the telenovelas recognized as own, elements of the telenovela considered foreign, and a critical analysis of the representation of the indigenous woman.

The consumption of telenovelas differentiated between men and women

Most of the women seem to consume telenovelas with some regularity; at least half said they watch them. Several of the participants admitted to watching telenovelas indirectly, not on their own, but when spending time with their mother, grandmother, or aunts.

When I was in elementary school, my mother would watch novelas on television. I would watch the telenovela, but then in secondary school, since I was at the school, well [laughter], then I could not watch it [anymore] (W-Ch).16

Furthermore, the participants stated that they only watch telenovelas during their limited free time, whenever work or study would allow so.

The [telenovela] … at seven o’clock, sometimes I watch it. In other words, it depends … if I ... when I finish work or the housework, well, I watch TV a little, and if not, if I do not have time, well, no [I do not watch it] (W-P).

The situation of studying and working, and the resulting lack of free time, is the same as that mentioned by the group of men as the reason they cannot watch telenovelas, specifically, and television, in general. Nevertheless, after a generalized denying of the consumption of telenovelas by the men, there is one exception of a participant who does watch them.

Well, I think they are boring. Once in a while, a little while ago, I watched one, but just one episode … one called Lichita or something like that [Laughter]. I watched it because there was this scene … that was funny, but then I got bored, and I changed the channel … But that was just for a little while, because usually … they are boring to me (M-A).

Elements of the Telenovelas recognized as own

Besides consolidating the identification of nature and the countryside as one of the principal elements of their own culture, there is also the element of music, considered close to them. These are elements that denote the pre-existence or implicit recognition of one of the elements of identity that we have referred to in our theoretical background: group consciousness (Alasuutari, 2004). The conscience associated to identification or positive valuing of what is personal or projected stops here; because at the end of this fragment can be seen the beginning of generalized discourse that distances the participants, both from the character represented, as well as from the cultural manners that are shown as belong to the indigenous people. A constant in both discussion groups is the recognition of elements considered belonging to them, but in some way adulterated for the consumption of a larger audience. An example in the case of the group of women is shown in the following excerpt:

Moderator: And what did you think of the trailer of the telenovela? Did you like it?

W-I: Well ... at the start I liked it because it was like beginning … In other words, it hooks you. To begin, the …the … the music was, excuse me, the music … well, you hear it and … the panorama that you are shown, or the places that are like … the most important ones in Chihuahua and … so that is how they hook you, but then … After that, I did not like it.

In the group of men, the discourse was similar to the above. For example:

Moderator: This type of speech there [in the trailer] or [the] way of expressing rural or indigenous life, what did you think of that?

M-O: Speaking of the context that they want to interpret, referring to elements, well, you can identify, you know? In things like the scenery or the music. One feels identified … then, after that everything is out of touch with reality. It is like when they are trying to convey something; they do not go deep enough into what it really is what life is really like in a community.

Besides the origin, the act of migration from the country to the city is also familiar both for men and women. What is distinguished in both groups is the recognition that becoming prostitutes and/or servants is a common occupation for migrant indigenous women, the most intimate experience in this situation when referring to women.

On the other hand, in the discourse of both groups there is an element that speaks of unconscious internalizing of the essence of the message by this particular telenovela, as well as the rest: the story of Prince Charming.

Moderator: Then you did not like the way the girl was represented?

W-Ch: No …

Moderator: The character, why do you say she is not believable?

W-Ch: No, because … well, I know that in the community where the girl lives her father dies … I understand that when he dies she would look for a way out … that she would try to find a way out … But to go from there to meeting a handsome guy, like that is pretty difficult [laughter and mumbling].

In the men’s case there were also comments along this line. For example, M., who continued the description the moderator makes of what happens to the protagonist. So after the moderator states that “the girl has to go to the city,” M. interrupts, saying “to meet her Prince Charming.” In another moment of the debate, it becomes clear that the character representing an indigenous woman is obviously beautiful, even though she has clearly European traits: “besides the Indian girl that was there is very good looking [smiles and murmurs]. I mean, there are attractive young women in all the communities, but not like her [general agreement]” (M-M).

Telenovela elements perceived as foreign

There are several times when both focus group participants emphasize the total lack of realism in the product shown them. Rather than enumerate the many contextual elements cited as being far from the reality of their own communities, we offer an analysis here of the cultural trait that stood out the most, both to men and women: the clothes of the main character. For men, it is interesting to point out how the clothing represented modern culture to them.

Moderator: What do you feel when you see supposedly indigenous people, a father, a daughter, a family … represented on television? How does that make you feel?

M-F: Well, the way they are represented leaves me with nothing, really. No sensation. To be sincere, there is no cultural identification in reality.

M-A: It is not like that [laughter] … The clothes, to begin with … they do not dress like that. It is too modern.

M-M: They are modernizing the culture, the clothes.

M-O: It is done more for commercial reasons.

M-F: It is more aesthetic.

The dichotomy between tradition and modernity is expressed graphically by the positioning about the dress of the protagonist of the telenovela. This is even clearer with the women, to the point of assuming this incorporation into progress by migrating to the city, as belonging to them.

W-I: I, in other words, the…er, the first impact, because I did not watch that telenovela, er, just with watching that short video-clip, you see it and … I mean, for me, to begin with … not … not even the clothes are close to reality.

W-P: … of ours …

W-I: No, no, no, not others either. Because if you noticed, the girl was wearing a really low neckline. When have you seen an indigenous woman wearing a very low neckline?

W-Ch: and then the [scarf] that she has here [on her head] …

W-I: I mean, it is like very…it is as if they are trying to represent indigenous clothes but very modern, I would say very daring. Like for … for the audience, right? But, did you see the low neckline? I think we all noticed it, and I do not think I have ever seen anything like that.

In the same vein, the oldest participant, of higher educational level than the rest of the group because he is finishing a master’s in education, stated he did not identify with the protagonist, especially because of the actress’s public show of emotions.

W-J: I would like to mention something important, too … for example, in my community, we are not so expressive about … Well, I have become more expressive, have I not? We do perceive the pain of another person, but we do not … we do not express it; we feel it, but we do not show it and in this video, it is shown, at least, in what … in what refers to my community … and in this video the girl screaming and such for [because of] her father’s death …

The fact that this participant has a higher educational level can be considered as a factor contributing to greater capacity for analysis and criticism of the media. We can see now how this critical analysis process was developed in reference to the projected product.

Critical analysis of the representation of the natives

Both groups are clearly aware that the content shown in the telenovelas is a direct consequence of the market interests of the producers.

W-A: Maybe they could not organize well [the media product] or at least [they could have] interviewed a native and then more or less …

W-D: But if they want to make a telenovela, they should prefer clothes [real] … at least … that might not be identical [the clothes worn], but at least similar, close to the real kind [some affirm]

W-I: I, in truth, I think that the reality is … It is Televisa. So Televisa only puts what will sell. So I think they would not have as much audience for …. a telenovela, if they … [with] the actress all covered up, right? [laughter in the background]- Because … in other words … do not be so bad, or … but like people say … when women show practically everything, in other words, it sells. Or, because of that I … do not like Mexican telenovelas because they are so explicit. They have scenes with sex at … a schedule when they should not because there are children watching side by side with their parents and so forth. So I say it is not that they were not informed, but that they decided to do things like that to…to sell.

On the other hand, we should point out that although the general tone in both groups was critical analysis of the televised product itself, there were also moments when the participants’ discourse implicitly assumed a certain natural subordination of the native, so that they gave positive value to the apparent public recognition which came about by being represented in mass media.

W-A: Well, it is good that they make a telenovela about some community because it feels good, does it not? That we are not left out of this … But sometimes they do not know … the protagonist or the actress, or just … that those who started to make the telenovela do not research or do not know … how they dress [real natives] … or they do not want them to dress like that, or they are not used to it. So I think they should find someone who is used to that kind of clothes or even … [thinking] well, maybe not, maybe someone, some indígena no, because they are not prepared to make a telenovela or series, but at least they should have … they should…they should be shown with a little more respect because, well … I think that the people of that community, I think they would not have approved of the woman looking like that.

Thus, facing the stereotypical representations of the media (Hall, 2010) the informant tries to identify, negotiates the representation of the native without the real native (“because they are not prepared”), but “with much more respect”. That is they assume the projection of the “other” (in which, according to Hall, the stereotypical representation is manifest, with the “other” in reality a deformed version of oneself) as legitimate media and even desirable, in order to make themselves known and be awarded a kind of public recognition.

In contrast with the responses of university women, those of the men are characterized by shorter responses, greater distancing, and by unambiguous criticism. Furthermore, the fact that the subject of analysis has achieved superior levels of education does not necessarily imply that there would be no consumption of telenovelas.


The aim of this paper was to discuss the findings of this research under two theoretical-conceptual approaches: identity (Alasuutari, 2004; Althusser, 1971; Durkheim, 1984; Foucault, 1978), and the framework of domestication (Campbell, 1992; Gurevitch, Levy & Roch, 1991; Miranda, 2014, 2016; Morley, 2007; Morley & Silverstone, 1990; Silverstone, Hirsch & Morley, 1992). Therefore, the results described in the previous section will be contrasted with the ideas of the authors that deal with these two approaches, with the objective of building knowledge inductively.

As Doncel found in a previous study (in press), the men’s negation of telenovela consumption subsumes the problem of social desirability. During the focus group, the men questioned and criticized, as did the women, the message transmitted by the telenovelas. That is they are familiar with them, they have seen them, either in private or accompanied by other family female members, perhaps when they were children. The importance of this omission is the way in which male gender identity is built on negation, on the absence of the consumption of a product.

In addition, this same negation of telenovela consumption by the men suggests a coping strategy of the concept of identity as proposed by Alasuutari (2004). According to this author, people use public discourse to legitimize or criticize the subject position in order to elaborate their strategies. In this case, public discourse refers to a kind of shame that the men feel about telenovela consumption. Related to this shame, negation of the fact acts as a type of coping strategy that later will become a discursive transformation, or group consciousness, when this group of male students of ethnic origin admit to at least knowing something about telenovelas.

On the other hand, the participants identify with elements shown in the trailer of the telenovela, such as the last element about which we can deduce certain unconscious acceptance of the underlying message in every telenovela plot. From the point of view of the tools of the concept of identity, we are referred to the subject position (Alasuutari, 2004). It is important to underline the similarity of the distinct positions of the subject, in this case young university students of ethnic origin, that manifest themselves when facing the audiovisual text, in comparison with those suggested by Liebes (1996). The present study identifies the following positions: the sense of belonging, to oneself or another; distancing, near or far; while Liebes (1996) describes four distinct dimensions from which she constructs the categories of closed, open, referential, and constructional.

In the discourse of both groups there were more significant values given to the sense of personal distancing from what was observed, the lack of identification with what they felt was a stereotyped and unreal representation, and the eminently critical and questioning posture of products created with the intent of reaching as wide and heterogeneous audience as possible. Personal distancing is a type of separation and gradual critical distancing with respect to a media product, according to the subject’s educational development. Although this category is quite similar to the ideological suggested by Liebes (1996), in this case the cultural capital (Bourdieu, 1984) seems to be a determining factor because it includes questions of consumer experience and knowledge, which seem to be important at the moment of evaluating an audiovisual text.

The lack of identification because of the telenovela’s unreality refers to the perception of an audiovisual product that is far removed from the social reality of the young people. This category is similar to Liebes’ aesthetic category (1996) or Hall’s negotiated code (1980) because it recognizes subject identification with the content of the audiovisual text. However, there seems to be an alternative way of constructing the message. The young people agree somewhat, but distance themselves from the elements of the audiovisual text because they would like these elements to be closer to social reality. On the contrary, they believe that the media stereotypes project an image that would feed the negative, prejudicial perception that the rest of the population usually has about them.

Furthermore, the results of this research encourage a revision of the following category of Liebes (1996): Real. When speaking of romantic aspiration, young women seem to wish for the sudden appearance of a Prince Charming, if not in the conventional sense, at least as an expectation. This desire suggests an unconscious transfer of deeds and situations of the audiovisual text to their daily lives; this becomes a type of appropriation within the framework of domestication, from the public to the private, of the audio visual message (Miranda, 2014, 2016; Silverstone, Hirsch & Morley, 1992).

Finally, this questioning and critical posture of the young people towards audiovisual products designed to reach bigger and more heterogeneous audiences speaks not only of the audiovisual text, but of the economic and transnational projection that the audiovisual text can have at a specific moment. This is where group consciousness appears (Alasuutari, 2004) in the young people according to dominant ideas (Gramsci, 1999; Marx y Engels, 2010) as projected in the telenovelas: ideas of ethnic discrimination, of gender, of class, besides recognition of the stigmatizing role of telenovelas for indigenous peoples, as part of a social class treated by hegemonic power as inferior.


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1This research is part of a Project begun in December, 2014, “Estudiantes indígenas de Educación Media Superior y Superior en Nuevo León. Panorama de inserción socioeducativa y construcción de identidad étnica”. This project, directed by Dr. Juan Antonio Doncel de la Colina is funded by the Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología through the program of Ciencia Básica 2013.

4Mexican telenovela produced by Ignacio Sada Madero for the company Televisa in 2012.

5Social actors refers to nation-states, governmental and non-governmental organizations, international organisms, the international court, media corporations and conglomerates, etc.

6Point of view that accentuates the external observer’s perspective of the phenomenon analyzed, in this case the one of the social scientist.

7Debate during the discussion groups, the results of which would allow us to offer new findings in future studies.

8Even though the actress portraying this character is the daughter of a Spaniard mother.

10As creator of artesanias or because of wearing what is considered to be typical dress.

11The protagonist is shown painting ceramics, with her legs open.

12The case of servants.

13Only one participant did not mention it.

14The 27 year old participant is also working as an assistant while she obtains her master’s in education from CONACYT.

15Nursing and systems engineering.

16It is important to clarify that the participants are identified with a W and their initial, in the case of women: and with an M and their initial, for the men. Thus, the reader can recognize the specific group referred to in each text fragment.

Received: February 02, 2017; Accepted: April 07, 2017

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