Presentation Title

Bordering Butterflies: The Opposing Narratives of Newspaper Coverage During the Mexican Repatriation

Start Date

12-11-2016 11:15 AM

End Date

12-11-2016 11:30 AM

Location

HUB 268

Type of Presentation

Oral Talk

Abstract

Historically, both economic growth and decline affect how U.S. citizens accept immigrants in general, and Mexican immigrants in particular. The Great Depression represents the first major shift in which the Mexican population was a scapegoat for economic frustration. During the decade of the 1930s, the U.S. government implemented programs of deportation and repatriation of Mexican immigrants and citizens, and ultimately created an anti-Mexican national discourse. The literature pertaining to the Mexican repatriation and deportation programs lacks a comprehensive understanding and is, as author Francisco Balderrama put it, “America’s forgotten history”. This project explores both Anglo-dominant and ethnic newspaper narratives and their contribution to the historical understanding of the Mexican repatriation and decade of deportation. The Anglo national newspapers (Los Angeles Times, New York Times, and Christian Science Monitor) framed a dominant narrative of the deportation and repatriation programs as progressive for the Mexican population, the United States economy, and the Mexican government. This dominant newspaper narrative shaped stories that did not include the voices of the Mexican communities affected by the programs. In contrast, La Opinión, a Los Angeles based Spanish language newspaper written by the ethnic Mexican press, described an opposing narrative that highlights the disastrous effects of the programs on the Mexican repatriates, deportees, and “colonias” (communities). Through newspaper narrative analysis, this project explores how an emphasis on La Opinión’s counter narrative deconstructs the dominant Anglo-newspaper narrative, analyzes the victimization of Mexicans as scapegoats during the Great Depression, gives voice to the Mexican population affected by the repatriation and deportation programs, and has implications for predicting the impacts of modern day immigrant deportation.

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Nov 12th, 11:15 AM Nov 12th, 11:30 AM

Bordering Butterflies: The Opposing Narratives of Newspaper Coverage During the Mexican Repatriation

HUB 268

Historically, both economic growth and decline affect how U.S. citizens accept immigrants in general, and Mexican immigrants in particular. The Great Depression represents the first major shift in which the Mexican population was a scapegoat for economic frustration. During the decade of the 1930s, the U.S. government implemented programs of deportation and repatriation of Mexican immigrants and citizens, and ultimately created an anti-Mexican national discourse. The literature pertaining to the Mexican repatriation and deportation programs lacks a comprehensive understanding and is, as author Francisco Balderrama put it, “America’s forgotten history”. This project explores both Anglo-dominant and ethnic newspaper narratives and their contribution to the historical understanding of the Mexican repatriation and decade of deportation. The Anglo national newspapers (Los Angeles Times, New York Times, and Christian Science Monitor) framed a dominant narrative of the deportation and repatriation programs as progressive for the Mexican population, the United States economy, and the Mexican government. This dominant newspaper narrative shaped stories that did not include the voices of the Mexican communities affected by the programs. In contrast, La Opinión, a Los Angeles based Spanish language newspaper written by the ethnic Mexican press, described an opposing narrative that highlights the disastrous effects of the programs on the Mexican repatriates, deportees, and “colonias” (communities). Through newspaper narrative analysis, this project explores how an emphasis on La Opinión’s counter narrative deconstructs the dominant Anglo-newspaper narrative, analyzes the victimization of Mexicans as scapegoats during the Great Depression, gives voice to the Mexican population affected by the repatriation and deportation programs, and has implications for predicting the impacts of modern day immigrant deportation.