Primary Source Report-MF

Project Title: The 1994 Northridge Earthquake Aftermath: Segregation of Media Coverage and Recovery Aid against Latino Communities in San Fernando Valley.


Title: Social Response to the 1994 Northridge California Earthquake

Location: Online Database of Scholar Commons: University of South Florida[Original document]

Description: This source provides an in-depth discussion of the on-site situation of the 1994 Northridge Earthquake directly after the earthquake, which can provide an insight on the Latino community. Through the perspective of the researchers, we can potentially discover the immediate on-site problems suffered by the Hispanic populations that were not covered by the media at that time, which could then be incorporated into my project.


Title: Immigrants in the Valley

Location: Newsweek(article) – Online Database of EBSCO host(accessed through NJIT library: therefore, link may not work) – AN=9412277616&db=aph

Online on Newsweek: [Text only: NOT original document]

Description: This article is a great source for understanding the social and political context of San Fernando Valley in 1994. The historical context of the demographics and politics is valuable in analyzing the inequality faced in media coverage and post-recovery of the Latino community in San Fernando Valley.


Title: Autoethnographic account of urban restructuring and neighborhood change in Los Angeles’ San Fernando Valley

Location: SAGE Journals[Online original article]

Description: This account of the author’s personal experience and hindsight as a minority living in San Fernando Valley during the 1990s provide an important perspective from a member of the Latino community living in San Fernando Valley during this time period, which is crucial for observing the Northridge earthquake recovery inequalities, or obvious neglections, could be used as evidence in my project.

Primary source #2: Analysis

In 1994, the once idealistic suburban community of the White American dream that was present in San Fernando Valley, is being overwhelmed with new migration of Latino and Asian into the valley. The growth of Latino, Asian, and few other minority communities are growing rapidly within the valley, already consisting one third of the population. The existing white communities strongly supported the removal of illegal migrant “invaders” into the valley with the voting of Proposition 187, while legal Latinos, particularly students, in the valley were angered and protested against Proposition 187. It also highlights the hypocrisy of the attempt of Whites to expel the illegal immigrants, whom they hire to work for them. Overall, the San Fernando Valley in 1994 sends a clear message in racial polarization and on-going ethnic tensions between Latino and White communities living besides each other during this time period.

From the beginning of the article, Andrew Murr mentions the Valley girl, an iconic movie that was based on San Fernando Valley white suburban culture in the past. But now, Murr claims, “[T]oday’s Valley Girl is as likely to be Latina or Asian as White,” implying how much the valley changed by 1994, that it is no longer only white, but includes Latino and Asian cultures. The narrative continues onto the brief mentioning of the Northridge Earthquake, where the once regretted freeway that separated the neighborhood, “…people are glad those barriers are there,” after the earthquake. The relieve by the freeway separation, reveals the physical-emotional racial lines that existed in San Fernando Valley, the sense of security that the freeway provided for the white community, only admitting its existence after a natural disaster, previously denying its existence as regretful. Confrontations of ethnicities followed especially after the earthquake and Proposition 187, in which one quote stated; “…Latino students and activists waved Mexican flags at anti-Prop 187 rallies, an expression of pride and alienation that many whites mistook for defiance of American values.” This quote, where Whites conveniently “mistook” the Latino response as “defiance,” presents not only the biased forgiveness towards White groups, but the two conflicting sides of this issue, where Latinos wants recognition through the protests, while Whites see it as a threat, perhaps to the security of the white community, desperately grasping onto the past image of the Valley Girl, and the security of the freeway barrier. Thus, the ethnic struggle continues between the Latino community whom are seeking acceptance and recognition as part of the new Valley girl image, and the White community whom feels threatened, chasing their past Valley girl image that no longer exists in San Fernando Valley.