A dynamic study of social negotiation and consumerism in the coming-of-age quinceañera celebration and the impact of normalizing spectacles of luxury.
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.
Winner of the Emily Toth Award for Best Single Work in Women's Studies, Popular Culture Association
Co-winner of the Elli Kongas Maranda Prize, Women's Section of the American Folklore Society (AFS)
- 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
- Works Cited
“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
“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