The Minutemen Versus the 'United Army of Illegal Aliens': A Critical Discourse Analysis of WWW Representations

Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/194789
Title:
The Minutemen Versus the 'United Army of Illegal Aliens': A Critical Discourse Analysis of WWW Representations
Author:
Smith, Margaret Webb
Issue Date:
2007
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Abstract:
Discourses surrounding U.S. immigration reform and border security are embedded with instances of the new racism (subtle and covert forms of racism in spoken and written language). One anti-immigrant organization in particular, the Minuteman Project, has gained widespread attention of the political establishment and mainstream press through its rapid expansion, physical involvement on the U.S.-Mexican border, and outspoken views on current U.S. immigration policy. There is a need to examine critically the discourse of growing citizen groups such as this one, who draw on web media resources to maintain and reproduce negative depictions of minority groups by masking and legitimating racist discourse.The data set consists of textual selections from the Minuteman Project website. Print text data includes the organization's mission statement and a context-specific article and email response related to immigration protests, as well as 'disclaimers' or statements of tolerance toward immigrants and elected officials that assist in the Minuteman Project's positive representation of self. A critical discourse analysis approach with an emphasis on metaphor is employed to determine how lexical, semantic, and syntactic choices are employed in creation of 'us' and 'them' participant roles. This analysis includes examination of visual images in proximity to print postings as well as images employed on Minuteman Project merchandise such as T-shirts and hats. The images are analyzed in relation to their contextual role in supporting or subverting the Minuteman Project's rhetorical strategies. The pervasive role of metaphor in this verbal and visual context is examined in relation to self and other representation, identity construction, and in-group membership.The analysis reveals contradictory and shifting self and other representations. Extensive use of patriotic and war tropes located in participant roles assist the Minuteman Project in masking underlying racist ideologies while overtly distancing itself from self-identified nationalist and white supremacist groups. Disclaimers, statements of tolerance, and metaphors assist the organization in successfully forging public connections with members of the political establishment. This study has implications for critical analysis of web-based texts, for multimodal analysis, and for the relation between circulatory web discourses and public policy in general.
Type:
text; Electronic Dissertation
Keywords:
discourse; racism; immigration; metaphor
Degree Name:
PhD
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
Second Language Acquisition & Teaching; Graduate College
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Advisor:
Waugh, Linda
Committee Chair:
Waugh, Linda

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoENen_US
dc.titleThe Minutemen Versus the 'United Army of Illegal Aliens': A Critical Discourse Analysis of WWW Representationsen_US
dc.creatorSmith, Margaret Webben_US
dc.contributor.authorSmith, Margaret Webben_US
dc.date.issued2007en_US
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en_US
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en_US
dc.description.abstractDiscourses surrounding U.S. immigration reform and border security are embedded with instances of the new racism (subtle and covert forms of racism in spoken and written language). One anti-immigrant organization in particular, the Minuteman Project, has gained widespread attention of the political establishment and mainstream press through its rapid expansion, physical involvement on the U.S.-Mexican border, and outspoken views on current U.S. immigration policy. There is a need to examine critically the discourse of growing citizen groups such as this one, who draw on web media resources to maintain and reproduce negative depictions of minority groups by masking and legitimating racist discourse.The data set consists of textual selections from the Minuteman Project website. Print text data includes the organization's mission statement and a context-specific article and email response related to immigration protests, as well as 'disclaimers' or statements of tolerance toward immigrants and elected officials that assist in the Minuteman Project's positive representation of self. A critical discourse analysis approach with an emphasis on metaphor is employed to determine how lexical, semantic, and syntactic choices are employed in creation of 'us' and 'them' participant roles. This analysis includes examination of visual images in proximity to print postings as well as images employed on Minuteman Project merchandise such as T-shirts and hats. The images are analyzed in relation to their contextual role in supporting or subverting the Minuteman Project's rhetorical strategies. The pervasive role of metaphor in this verbal and visual context is examined in relation to self and other representation, identity construction, and in-group membership.The analysis reveals contradictory and shifting self and other representations. Extensive use of patriotic and war tropes located in participant roles assist the Minuteman Project in masking underlying racist ideologies while overtly distancing itself from self-identified nationalist and white supremacist groups. Disclaimers, statements of tolerance, and metaphors assist the organization in successfully forging public connections with members of the political establishment. This study has implications for critical analysis of web-based texts, for multimodal analysis, and for the relation between circulatory web discourses and public policy in general.en_US
dc.typetexten_US
dc.typeElectronic Dissertationen_US
dc.subjectdiscourseen_US
dc.subjectracismen_US
dc.subjectimmigrationen_US
dc.subjectmetaphoren_US
thesis.degree.namePhDen_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineSecond Language Acquisition & Teachingen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
dc.contributor.advisorWaugh, Lindaen_US
dc.contributor.chairWaugh, Lindaen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberHill, Janeen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberKimme Hea, Amyen_US
dc.identifier.proquest2311en_US
dc.identifier.oclc659748167en_US
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