By Beatriz Carrillo, MN 2.0 Project Team
In the Minnesota 2.0 project I have been cataloging Facebook groups that relate to a Mexican or Mexican American identity. I am interested in how the media is used by different groups of people and as a part of this project I have learned how youth use Facebook and how non-Mexicans view Mexico.
In the first two months of research I have seen many fan pages where most group members are from the United States or European countries and are talking about how much they love Mexico. There are also many fan pages where the members are Mexican and are talking about how much they love Mexico. There are various groups and fan pages dedicated to Mexican restaurants. This speaks to the fact that the Mexican culture and identity has been commodified. Many of the most active members in groups such as "Sayulita, Mexico" are not Mexican and the way that they see the culture is quite different than the Mexicans that are from Sayulita. Many Mexicans have posted on the wall that the way the tourists see them as a "sleepy" town is incorrect. This is important because, although there may be thousands of groups where white Americans claim to love Mexico for being authentic, what these white Americans may love is less "authentic" and is instead more the result of a commodified image of Mexico.
As I continue my research I hope to hear more from the Mexican and Mexican American community rather than the white Euro-American community talking about Mexico. Groups with words like "Mexicano" in the title will surely yield better results. There are groups like "Soy Mexicano y no tengo influenza!!!!" "I am Mexican and I don't have the flu" and "un Mexicano sin tacos...no es mexicano" "a Mexican without tacos...is no Mexican." These kinds of groups bring up what it means to be Mexican and I look forward to researching more fully into this aspect of how Mexican and Mexican Americans use Facebook.
Beatriz Carrillo is an IHRC Undergraduate Research Assistant.