cover of book

Radio Nation: Communication, Popular Culture, and Nationalism in Mexico, 1920-1950
by Joy Elizabeth Hayes
University of Arizona Press, 2000
eISBN: 978-0-8165-4177-5 | Paper: 978-0-8165-4158-4 | Cloth: 978-0-8165-1852-4
Library of Congress Classification PN1991.3.M4H59 2000
Dewey Decimal Classification 384.540972


The role of mass communication in nation building has often been underestimated, particularly in the case of Mexico. Following the Revolution, the Mexican government used the new medium of radio to promote national identity and build support for the new regime. Joy Hayes now tells how an emerging country became a radio nation.

This groundbreaking book investigates the intersection of radio broadcasting and nation building. Hayes tells how both government-controlled and private radio stations produced programs of distinctly Mexican folk and popular music as a means of drawing the country's regions together and countering the influence of U.S. broadcasts.

Hayes describes how, both during and after the period of cultural revolution, Mexican radio broadcasting was shaped by the clash and collaboration of different social forces--including U.S. interests, Mexican media entrepreneurs, state institutions, and radio audiences. She traces the evolution of Mexican radio in case studies that focus on such subjects as early government broadcasting activities, the role of Mexico City media elites, the "paternal voice" of presidential addresses, and U.S. propaganda during World War II.

More than narrative history, Hayes's study provides an analytical framework for understanding the role of radio in building Mexican nationalism at a critical time in that nation's history. Radio Nation expands our appreciation of an overlooked medium that changed the course of an entire country.

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