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.
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- media representations
- refugee studies