Date of Graduation

8-2014

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in English (MA)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

English

Advisor

Elias Dominguez Barajas

Committee Member

David Jolliffe

Second Committee Member

Kirsten Erickson

Keywords

Analysis, Discourse, Immigrant, Latino, Political, Rhetoric

Abstract

This study examines the discourses surrounding the immigrant experience in the United States to reconcile first-hand accounts of Latino immigrant experiences with the discourse prevailing in broader domains such as immigration law, public forums, non-fiction essays, and the news media. In order to break down barriers that prevent productive discussions, this analysis identifies stifling language guised under what Antonio Gramsci defines common sense rather than good sense. At the same time this study aims to deconstruct stifling language, it uses first-hand accounts from Latino immigrants to provide insight as to where the American public is not listening. By analyzing common themes, images, attitudes, and language surrounding the discussions of "legal" and "illegal" immigration while also unfolding political rhetoric that assumes reason rather than projecting it, this study hopes bring further understanding to the Latino immigrant experience in the United States.

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