Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Communication Studies


Communication Studies

First Reader/Committee Chair

Conlisk Gallegos, Liliana


Historically speaking, political representation in Congressional districts in the U.S. has been predominantly White and male. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) is an example of a type of new mestizaconsciousness (Anzaldúa, 1987) given she is the youngest Latina congresswoman ever been elected to serve New York’s 14th Congressional District. This study employs an intersectional analysis on AOC’s viral moments with ‘The Squad’, Puerto Rico, Vogue, and Met Gala. Through a theoretical lens composed of elements of intersectionality (Crenshaw, 1991) and mestiza consciousness (Anzaldúa, 1987), this study focuses on three significant recurrent themes found in AOC’s estilos de resistencia or sensibilities in enacting resistance tactics. These are inter-ethnic cultural exchanges to resist ethnic borders, translinguistic communication to resist nation-state centered perceptions of language use, and a feminist Chicana/Latina aesthetic of difference. Through these tactics AOC disrupts dominant traditional norms using her own definition of woman empowerment in a political realm. Furthermore, this case study on AOC explores the intersections of media, gender, race, and communication and how she contributes to the movement towards social justice, liberation, and freedom.