XENO-RACISM AND DISCURSIVE CONSTRUCTION OF "US" VS. "THEM": COSA NOSTRA, WALL STREET, AND IMMIGRANTS
AuthorCatalano, Theresa Ann
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractIn this dissertation, the denaturalization of migrants in the US and Italy as represented in newspaper crime reports was identified and compared to the opposing naturalization of Italian crime organizations in Italy and Wall Street/ corporate criminals in the US. This was accomplished through careful, multidisciplinary, scientific analysis of over 100 articles taken from Italian and US newspapers of assorted political tendencies from the years 2004-2010. Quantitative and qualitative methods were combined beginning with a corpus analysis of texts from each group studied followed by a topic analysis designed to identify topics discussed in the media for each group analyzed. In addition, lexical choices were categorized as denaturalization, naturalization or derogation, and examples from texts were examined in depth to reveal linguistic (such as metaphor) strategies involved in negative or positive representation of these groups. A Critical Discourse Analysis Approach combined with Social Semiotics and grounded in Social Identity and Nationalism theories was employed to reveal an underlying racist and xenophobic ideology in both Italian and US media. Results show that in both the United States and Italy, the highlighting of migrants' lack of proficiency in the host country language as well as cultural practices functions as evidence of how migrants are different thus justifying discriminatory practices against them. The resulting categorization of migrants as "Them" serves the dominant group's purpose of staying in power. In conclusion, the author points to a need for teacher educators in the field of second language education and literacy to make it a top priority to educate teachers and students as to how discourse contains underlying ideologies and how to think critically to de-construct and de-mystify them.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Second Language Acquisition & Teaching