Spanish Newspaper Coverage and the Arizona Mexican American Studies Ban - A Critical Discourse Analysis
AuthorFuentes, Francisco Javier
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction, presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractA growing body of literature has attempted to explore the ban on Mexican American Studies in Tucson Unified School District located in Tucson, Arizona (Acosta et al., 2014). While education researchers and practitioners in Arizona have attempted to understand the implications of the Ethnic Studies ban for multicultural educators nationwide (Acosta et al., 2014), little is known regarding how the local and regional Spanish media framed this ethnic studies controversy. The objective of this Critical Discourse Analysis was to explore how the local Spanish media covered the issue of the ethnic studies ban in Arizona in 2010, with a specific focus on the Tucson Unified School District. Secondary data from media publications were obtained from the library and the Internet. Critical Discourse Analysis was conducted to identify the main themes emerging from the Spanish media reporting of the Mexican American ethnic studies ban controversy. Findings showed that the Spanish media employed various discourses when framing the Mexican American ethnic studies controversy including: the ethnic studies ban was racially motivated, defending ethnic studies and student rights, concerns about constitutionality of banning Mexican American Studies, especially regarding censorship of the freedom of expression. Additional discourses included ethnic studies ban hindering culture and ethnic diversity, feelings of persecution, apartheid, and potential efforts attempted at suppressing Mexican American history. The discourses employed by the Spanish language media largely emphasize the value of Mexican American ethnic studies as the media projects an image that ethnic studies educate learners about their cultural roots, values, and history. Spanish language media discourses also centered how ethnic studies enhance student engagement in school, reduce dropouts, and contribute to examination scores. Through student protests and public demonstrations, the Spanish language media helped create awareness about ethnic studies, with the movement attracting national interest in support of ethnic studies included in the educational curriculum. Future studies may improve on the current findings by collecting primary data using surveys, interviews, and focus groups to supplement the obtained data, and corroborate the current findings.
Degree ProgramGraduate College