While Selena's tragedy offered a way for many Latina/o communities to mourn their own tragic plights resulting from political economic struggles throughout the nineties, numerous corporate and political forces deployed Selena's tragedy as a way to construct Latinos as hot commodities and valued consumers while denying their status as citizens. That is, Selenidad--the dynamic afterlife of Selena--was used to efface Latina/o struggles even as it was invoked to decry them. Selenidad has thus emerged as a significant site of Latina/o cultural affirmation, as a lucrative industry, and as a disciplining force unleashed against a Latina/o body politic. It is precisely because the memorial currents of Selenidad traverse the realms of the commercial and the popular, of the officially-sanctioned and the counter-cultural, that Selena commemoration illuminates the interplay among a range of claims to latinidad—as market segment, as political force, and as cultural process.


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