Constructing the Deviant Woman: Gendered Stigma of the 1980 Cuban Mariel Migration

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This article argues that the 1980 Cuban Mariel migration marked a turning point in American perceptions and media representations of female Cuban immigrants, and Cuban exiles in the United States more generally. By examining how sexualized representations of Mariel women coincided with a more general stigmatization of Mariel migrants, I contend that single Cuban women arriving in the boatlift underwent a process of racialization, in which they became increasingly undifferentiated from historical stereotypes of the sexually threatening Latina immigrant in the United States.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1086-1102
Number of pages17
JournalAmerican Behavioral Scientist
Issue number10
StatePublished - Sep 1 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017, © 2017 SAGE Publications.


  • Cuba
  • gender
  • media representations
  • racialization
  • refugee studies


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