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SOUTH ASIAN AND (UNDOCUMENTED) LATINO/A IMMIGRANT BLOGGERS: A CRITICAL DISCOURSE ANALYSIS OF THEIR ENGAGEMENT WITH IMMIGRATION DISCOURSES

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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1928/21062

SOUTH ASIAN AND (UNDOCUMENTED) LATINO/A IMMIGRANT BLOGGERS: A CRITICAL DISCOURSE ANALYSIS OF THEIR ENGAGEMENT WITH IMMIGRATION DISCOURSES

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Title: SOUTH ASIAN AND (UNDOCUMENTED) LATINO/A IMMIGRANT BLOGGERS: A CRITICAL DISCOURSE ANALYSIS OF THEIR ENGAGEMENT WITH IMMIGRATION DISCOURSES
Author: Mudambi, Anjana
Advisor(s): Collier, Mary Jane
Committee Member(s): Cramer, Janet
Rodriguez, Ilia
Chavez, Karma
Department: University of New Mexico. Dept. of Communication and Journalism
Subject: discourse
immigration
constitutive rhetoric
agency
undocumented immigrants
South Asian
LC Subject(s): Critical discourse analysis
Hispanic Americans -- Ethnic identity
South Asian Americans -- Ethnic identity
Emigration and immigration -- United States -- Psychological aspects
Language and the Internet
Immigrants -- United States -- Blogs
Illegal aliens -- United States -- Blogs
South Asian Americans -- Blogs
Hispanic Americans -- Blogs
Degree Level: Doctoral
Abstract: The overarching purpose of this project is to theorize how marginalized communities engage with dominant discourses and to locate possibilities for agency in contesting dominant representations of marginalized groups. I selected two discursive events as instances of a larger U.S. immigration discourse—the enactment of SB 1070 in Arizona and the publication of a column in TIME Magazine in which the author decries the influx of South Asians to his hometown of Edison, NJ. I then modified critical discourse analysis to examine weblog responses to these events by two diasporic communities interpellated by them—(undocumented) Latino/a immigrants and South Asian immigrants. Drawing upon a theory of constitutive rhetoric, I look at ways that members of these two groups are interpellated as subjects within their blogging communities. Moreover, I examine how the collective subject negotiates various identifications through a three-part diasporic identity framework consisting of structural, trans-spatial/historical, and intergroup representational positionings. I also consider the implications of the constitutive rhetoric for agency by interrogating how the blogs enable and constrain bloggers’ abilities to speak about the discursive events. In addition, I interrogate bloggers’ constructions of U.S. immigration discourse, identifying four ideological claims both (re)produced and challenged by the bloggers: triumphal multiculturalism; American Dream mythology; the entitlement to rights; and normative standards of acceptability. I also use a postcolonial approach to discursive engagement that considers the production of alternate subjectivities through destabilizing of the subject/object relationship. This project complicates our understanding of diasporic subjects as based on complex postcolonial subjectivities. This allows for an expanded notion of how collective subjects are constituted ontologically through the coming together of numerous points of identifications within a complex framework of diasporic identities. In addition, it links ontological status and epistemology by complicating the understanding of how and where subject positions arise, challenging assumptions of universal knowledge. Finally, it theorizes discursive engagement of members of marginalized diasporic groups by applying a dialectical perspective of agency and interpellated subjectivities and revealing how power operates through discourse to position subjects while identifying possible moments of agentic potential.
Graduation Date: July 2012
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1928/21062


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