ERIC Number: EJ795107
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006
Reference Count: 32
Dismantling the Imperialist Discourse Shadowing Mexican Immigrant Children
Miller, Lisa L.
International Journal of Educational Policy, Research, and Practice: Reconceptualizing Childhood Studies, v7 n1 p35-48 2006
This article unravels the political, public, and private discourse shadowing Mexican immigrants in the Southwestern U.S. The author illustrates how the dominant discourse with regard to immigration in the U.S. has led to the dehumanization of migrant people significantly impacting what occurs in their daily lives and directly influencing the perceptions of both policymakers and educators. Negative connotations are ascribed to the movement of people of color the moment they cross the border. The most rapidly increasing segment of the United States child population is immigrant children. Due to increased policy measures, economic downturn in Mexico, and the militarization of the border, many of these children are entering the U.S. undocumented. They must then attempt to integrate in a very similar manner to a refugee into a society where they are denied citizenship, where their culture and language have no value, and where their history is erased through a very colonizing educational system. Public officials, policies, and the media create a discourse of fear related to their dwelling within "our" borders. The U.S. then constructs them as immigrants just as they have with both Hawaiians and Native Americans. All that they are as human beings is erased and their histories are rewritten to "fit" the appropriate part of the social hierarchy the dominant culture forces them into. The author emphasizes the fact that their involvement in this conflict is not by choice, but by the representative regimes that govern them. She argues that the discourse of blame must turn in order to create new conversations. Western culture must realize and accept that Mexicans are a people with linguistic and cultural differences which need to be accepted and valued. A move has to be made in U.S. education away from the idea of homogeneity of experience in order to lift the colonizing shadow.
Descriptors: Mexican Americans, Cultural Differences, Immigrants, Mexicans, Public Opinion, Immigration, Public Policy, Negative Attitudes, Child Welfare, Social Bias, Social Attitudes, Student Diversity, Student Needs
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A