Quinceañera celebrations, which recognize a girl’s transition to young womanhood at age fifteen, are practiced in Latinx communities throughout the Americas. But in the consumer-driven United States, the ritual has evolved from a largely religious ceremony to an elaborate party where social status takes center stage. Examining the many facets of this contemporary debut experience, Quinceañera Style reports on ethnographic fieldwork in California, Texas, the Midwest, and Mexico City to reveal a complex, compelling story. Along the way, we meet a self-identified transwoman who uses the quinceañera as an intellectual space in her activist performance art. We explore the economic empowerment of women who own barrio boutiques specializing in the quinceañera’s many accessories and made-in-China gowns. And, of course, we meet teens themselves, including a vlogger whose quince-planning tips have made her an online sensation.
Disrupting assumptions, such as the belief that Latino communities in the United States can’t desire upward mobility without abandoning ethnoracial cultural legacies, Quinceañera Style also underscores the performative nature of class and the process of constructing a self in the public, digital sphere.
This is a great book--a sophisticated, intersectional, and transnational project. González takes an innovative approach to quinceañeras that considers the complex, post-nationalist, global economy as well as some post-ethnic but gendered practices.~Angharad N. Valdivia, University of Illinois
Quinceañera Style is an overdue scholarly examination of a popular cultural experience that is sure to join the important and growing body of research on Latinx youth, queer, and digital cultures.~Anna Cristina Pertierra, Western Sydney University
No prior scholarly approach to [the quinceañera] compares with Rachel Valentina González's brilliant analysis...Quinceañera Style delivers on its promise to bring out an analysis for the twenty-first century of an established yet ever-evolving tradition in the Americas...In more ways than one, Quinceañera Style articulates the underlying reasons why families would spend beyond their means to honor their daughter’s transition from childhood to adulthood.~Journal of Folklore Research
A richly nuanced study.~New Books in Folklore
Quinceañera Style provides a unique and thorough analysis of quinceañeras unlike any currently available…Based on extensive research and employing different methods, such as representational analysis and ethnography, this text has the potential for vast transnational and interdisciplinary reach...the book makes significant scholarly interventions and successfully offers girlhood, media, gender, folklore, and Latinx studies scholars means of expanding understandings of quinceañeras through an intersectional lens.~Women's Studies in Communication
Rachel Valentina González has written the anticipated twenty-first-century analysis of quinceañera practices...It is a long-overdue book and one for every scholar of folklore and Latinx cultural studies...Quinceañera Style is a powerful vehicle for understanding the hypervisibility and invisibility of Latinx residents in US public space and how class performance further initiates belonging and exclusion. It is recommended for graduate students and scholars interested in rethinking heritage studies, ethnic studies, American studies, and humanities analyses of consumption, digital realms, and marketing.~Journal of American Folklore
Introduction. Coming Out Latinx
Chapter 1. Quinceañera Style and Class Performativity
Chapter 2. Identity off the Rack: Selling Quinceañera Dresses and Manufacturing Identities in the Experience Economy
Chapter 3. Coming of Age in the Digital Barrio: Quinceañera as a Product in Cultural Economies Online
Chapter 4. Made in Mexico, USA: Beauty Professionals and the Manufacturing of Quinceañera Beauty Culture
Chapter 5. Ambivalent Embodiment: Reconstituting Quinceañera Performance Space
Conclusion. Rights/Rites and Representation: Reading Latinx Social Performance