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Domino R. Perez, Director BUR 552, Mailcode F9200, Austin, TX 78712 • (512) 471-4557


The FACULTY SPOTLIGHT features the innovative research and long-standing commitments of CMAS faculty affiliates.


Family Comes First: Screening Mexican American Fatherhood:
The image of a super-sized Mexican or Mexican American family overseen by an overbearing, albeit benevolent,
patriarch is now a familiar stereotype in mainstream popular culture. The image of a cohesive Brown family is,
however, fairly recent, emerging only in the last thirty years. When Mexican or Mexican American fathers
actually figured into films, they were either completely separated from their families or ineffectual. Films such
as My Family(1995), Fools Rush In (1997), Selena (1997), Price of Glory (2000), The Spy Kids series (2001;
2002; 2003; 2011),and Walk Out (2006) broke from this convention by focusing on Mexican and Mexican
Americanpatriarchs as social agents and/or as a part of unified families. In the process, these works substitute
one kind of imaginary fatherhood for another. A parallel trend can be found in small screen depictions of fathers.
Because of the relatively small number of films dealing directly with Mexican and Mexican American fathers,
my study includes parallel iterations of fathers in television as it considers the on-going, limited, and limiting
fictions about Mexican and Mexican American fathers found in mainstream visual culture.

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