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Charros in Texas and Gauchos in Argentina: A Social Semiotic Analysis of Historical Artifacts

Zapata, Gabriela C.; Dom�nguez, Yzach; Gooch, Steven; Pacheco, Ariadne


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Associate Professor in Education

Yzach Dom�nguez

Steven Gooch

Ariadne Pacheco


The objective of this article is to examine media representations of charros in Texas and gauchos in Argentina from the 1930s in order to uncover any sociohistorical parallels between these two groups. Two sets of artifacts were analyzed using a social semiotics approach. The first part of the article delineates, through the investigation of sociohistorical events in Mexico and Argentina, the transition of both groups from historical figures to mythical national symbols in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The second section centers on the analysis of representations of charros and gauchos that appeared in a publication related to the "Charro Days"festival in Brownsville, Texas, and in the Argentinean magazine "Caras y Caretas."The results of the analysis reveal the existence of similarities in the ways in which both groups were portrayed. Additionally, the artifacts analyzed reflect the economic objectives and/or sociopolitical intentions of the elites who created and disseminated them. It is also proposed that the message conveyed by the ensembles might have contributed to the establishment of new constructions of the charro myth in Texas, and that of the gaucho in Argentina, both of which are still present in contemporary society.


Zapata, G. C., Domínguez, Y., Gooch, S., & Pacheco, A. (2021). Charros in Texas and Gauchos in Argentina: A Social Semiotic Analysis of Historical Artifacts. International Journal of Design in Society, 15(1), 25-44.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Dec 21, 2020
Online Publication Date Mar 2, 2021
Publication Date Jun 30, 2021
Deposit Date Aug 3, 2022
Journal International Journal of Design in Society
Print ISSN 2325-1328
Electronic ISSN 2325-1360
Publisher Common Ground Research Networks
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 15
Issue 1
Pages 25-44
Keywords Charros, Gauchos, National Symbols, Social Semiotics, Media-Constructed Representations
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