Similarly, the media organizes its production and programming according to demographics. Categories such as children, housewives, yuppies, jocks, adults and Christians, among other types of consumers, are examples of the utilization of secondary identity criteria at the time of creating and selling products or services. The programmed hours of radio shows and publication of magazines and newspapers are also targeted according to demographics, which provide a formal segmentation of the market. This way, big media players become a very important strategic component of the market, revealing an essential structural involvement in order to carry out the daily task of creating and strengthening identities. Many social scientists, including Mexican anthropologist Ernesto García Canclini, conclude that the widespread presence of the media in homes of all social sectors very intimately influences the socialization process, and as a result, the creation of identities.
This allows us to recognize that, even though identity is traditionally thought of as something real, as a set of characteristics that outlines a particular way of being, another type of identity runs parallel, in modern social contexts, to what the market designates as an aspiration. Because populist cultures value and focus on social mobility, what are perceived as "symbols of the good life", no matter how different they are from the immediate reality, occupy a prominent place in the collective identity imaginary. Besides that, mass media's enormous influence continues to keep that illusion alive, blending the uncertainty of everyday life, with fantasies of access to consumer-driven prosperity and privilege. When the market uses identity as a strategic criterion for an advertising campaign, it is not giving preference to social reality, but to the goals it seeks. That is why the settings recreated in service or product ads do not correlate with real popular environments, but those to which we aspire. Celebrity status works in a similar way. Its popularity in sports, showbiz or politics rides on the fantasy of luxury and privilege.
6 On the other hand, the speed at which migration has increased during the last decades as a direct result of the unequal distribution of material goods, has made identity an issue, often deemed as intrinsic to the pressing question of survival and collective reaffirmation, natural and historically, when faced with the threat of the other. In Europe, the United States and Latin America, the immigrationimmigration: Population movement consisting of the arrival of people to a country or region other than their homeland in order to establish themselves there. issue has caused extensive social and political conflicts. During France's last elections, one of the main issues in right-wing candidate Nicolás Sarkozy's campaign agenda (currently the President of France) was immigration. The presence of numerous Muslim immigrants in the country, their persistent claim to retain the religious and cultural identity at the heart of their nation, the resentment of natives who feel displaced by the new neighbors, and the tensions resulting in spontaneous acts of social violence, have polarized France, as it detaches from the rhetorical intensity of the past elections.
In the United States, well-known Harvard political scientist, Samuel Huntington appealed to decrease the flow of Hispanic immigrants, specially from Mexico, given that they are the most numerous and visible. As argued by Huntington, his purpose is to preserve the cultural identity of the country. According to Huntington, the traditional dominant culture of the United States is Anglo-Saxon and Protestant, and its official language is only one: the English language. The considerable increase of Hispanic immigrants dilutes and weakens the cultural identity, posing a threat to its integrity and permanence. Huntington, who technically does not consider Puerto Ricans as immigrants but for the sake of his argument he does, advocates for a strict level of migratory control and a policy of assimilation. His argument is not racist, in the traditional sense of feeling superior to those who arrive, but it is indeed exclusivist, since he claims the right of the social group to protect the integrity of its cultural environment. It is not necessary to label the other as inferior, it is enough to regulate and limit the flow of immigration.
7 In Puerto Rico, in spite of our secular familiarity with migration waves, we have not been able to avoid the post-modern problem of the immigration phenomenon. While we are used to not having control over immigration issues (first under the sovereignty of Spain and then the United States), this has not stopped the increasing Dominican immigration from creating confusion in social spheres, to an extent where it affects cultural rules and exacerbates our differences through exclusion and mockery at the expense of the more traditional sentiment of solidarity. The problem with the large influx of Dominicans to the island coincides with the introduction of three of the most defining characteristics of the global economy: the increase of economic inequality around the world; the massive displacement of populations, from poor zones to more thriving areas; and the increasing instability and insecurity of labor markets.
8 The migration - identity relationship is more problematic when it comes to the Puerto Rican diaspora. It is very well known how Puerto Rican individuals and families that migrate to the United States insist on maintaining Puerto Rico's "national" symbols to preserve the emotional link to their culture of origin. In addition to favoring the physical proximity of places of coexistence and entertainment, Puerto Rican expatriates obsessively value language, family traditions, popular art (music in particular) and gastronomy, elements that become daily connections to identity during exile. "Dreaming of Puerto Rico" functions within this context as an anthem revered by Puerto Ricans living abroad who dream of returning to the island.
The Puerto Rican diaspora has generated an identity controversy that seems to have no end. Some maintain that the migratory displacement does not affect the essential identity, even among second and third generation Puerto Rican exiles. But others contend that, by migrating, individuals who have moved and Puerto Rican communities that have established themselves in the United States become part of the ethnical dynamic of this new country, as done by the descendants of previous Irish and Italian immigrants. The term Hispanic American reflects this differentiated concept that compartmentalizes the Latin American immigrant, while assigning a new identity distinct from the white, Anglo Saxon mainstream. The political discourse in Puerto Rico reflects this dichotomy. For example, those who advocate for the first theory maintain that immigrants must preserve (based on the inalienable right of being Puerto Rican) the right to participate in our plebiscite processes. The concept of a divided nation properly expresses such theoretical stance. However, others argue for the territorial status and linguistic unity of the national identity, particularly when it comes to second and third generations. A Puerto Rican who temporarily resides in New York said, as he watched the Puerto Rican Day parade, that for the mainstream American citizen, the Puerto Rican flag represents the ghetto rather that a national symbol.
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