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Relaciones. Estudios de historia y sociedad

On-line version ISSN 2448-7554Print version ISSN 0185-3929


CRUZ DIAZ RAMIREZ, Rubén. The mutual invention of youth and TV in rural Jalisco (1950-1980). Relac. Estud. hist. soc. [online]. 2024, vol.45, n.177, pp.39-60.  Epub Apr 05, 2024. ISSN 2448-7554.

This article aims to analyze how youth, memory, and media-technological spaces mutually shaped each other in rural Jalisco. The text responds to how the people of Poncitlán remember their transition from youth to adulthood as inseparable from the spaces generated by the televisions that arrived in Poncitlán, Jalisco, Mexico, starting in the 1950s. The reports for this analysis come from a work by a one-year anthropological field, carried out in two-month stays between 2017 and 2019 in towns in the municipality of Poncitlán. The testimonies were obtained from informal interviews with “jóvenes de antes”, a local term that designates people who were young at some point between 1950 and 1980. Through their voices, the process of domestication of television was reconstructed in a time that Poncitlenses call the years of progress and modernization, which coincides with the so-called Mexican miracle.

It was found that televisions were seen as public screens, like cinemas, that generated collective spaces for the sociability of Poncitlenses without economic possibilities to buy private televisions. As their economic situation improved, the “jóvenes de antes” acquired televisions for personal use, thereby ending the mode of public television sociability that they longed to replicate. This paradox of modernization is central to the reconstruction of memory, youth, and technology for this generation of Poncitlenses.

Keywords : Youth and media; Memory; Public spaces; Public television; Sociability.

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