Brown Tide Rising: Metaphors of Latinos in Contemporary American Public Discourse

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University of Texas Press, Jun 15, 2002 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 402 pages
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". . . awash under a brown tide . . . the relentless flow of immigrants . . . like waves on a beach, these human flows are remaking the face of America . . ." Since 1993, metaphorical language such as this has permeated mainstream media reporting on the United States’ growing Latino population. In this groundbreaking book, Otto Santa Ana argues that far from being mere figures of speech, such metaphors produce and sustain negative public perceptions of the Latino community and its place in American society, precluding the view that Latinos are vested with the same rights and privileges as other citizens. Applying the insights of cognitive metaphor theory to an extensive natural language data set drawn from hundreds of articles in the Los Angeles Times and other media, Santa Ana reveals how metaphorical language portrays Latinos as invaders, outsiders, burdens, parasites, diseases, animals, and weeds. He convincingly demonstrates that three anti-Latino referenda passed in California because of such imagery, particularly the infamous anti-immigrant measure, Proposition 187. Santa Ana illustrates how Proposition 209 organizers broadcast compelling new metaphors about racism to persuade an electorate that had previously supported affirmative action to ban it. He also shows how Proposition 227 supporters used antiquated metaphors for learning, school, and language to blame Latino children’s speech—rather than gross structural inequity—for their schools’ failure to educate them. Santa Ana concludes by calling for the creation of insurgent metaphors to contest oppressive U.S. public discourse about minority communities.
  

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Contents

Why Study the Public Discourse Metaphors Depicting Latinos?
1
Theory and Method
13
How Metaphor Shapes Public Opinion
15
Analyses
63
Proposition 187 Misrepresenting Immigrants and Immigration
65
Proposition 209 Competing Metaphors for RACISM and AFFIRMATIVE ACTION
104
Student as Means Not End Contemporary American Discourse on Education
156
American Discourse on NATION and LANGUAGE The English for the Children Referendum
197
DISEASE or INTRUDER Metaphors Constructing the Place of Latinos in the United States
253
Insurgent Metaphors Contesting the Conventional Representations of Latinos
295
Tallies of Political Metaphors
321
Notes
333
References
365
Permissions Acknowledgments
393
Index
395
Copyright

Conclusions
251

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About the author (2002)

Otto Santa Ana is Associate Professor of Chicana/o Studies at UCLA. A sociolinguist and critical discourse analyst, he is the author of the award-winning Brown Tide Rising, which was named Best Book of the Year on Ethnic and Racial Political Ideology by the American Political Science Association.

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