I Love Ricky: How Desi Arnaz Challenged American Popular Culture

by de los Reyes, Vanessa

Abstract (Summary)
Conformity is often associated with television shows during the 1950s. This idea of conformity is conveyed by images of a white middle class family living in the suburbs with Mom as the happy homemaker and Dad as the breadwinner. There is a television show that strayed from that image: I Love Lucy. Desi Arnaz, who played Ricky Ricardo on the wildly successful television show, gave America a taste of the tropics. He created a Cuban persona suitable for American consumption. Ricky's Cuban culture was a large aspect of the show. He is constantly resisting assimilation. A close examination of the popular television show reveals both Cuban-American tensions and the ways Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz helped smooth them and make the United States in the 1950s a more inclusive place. It also reveals the struggle over an immigrant's identity. I Love Lucy questions the common perception of a mid-century homogenous culture.
Bibliographical Information:


School:Miami University

School Location:USA - Ohio

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:i love lucy desi arnaz ricky ricardo television 1950s


Date of Publication:01/01/2008

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