21st century ideological discourses about US migrant education that transcend registers

Date

2023

Authors

Fitzsimmons-Doolan, Shannon

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Abstract

Widely distributed and often repeated discursive patterns which represent migrants can influence the education of migrant students (Calavita, 1996; Cutler, 2017; Dabach et al., 2017; Santa Ana, 2002). Ideological discourses (e.g., immigrants are threats) are particularly potent structures mediating language, cognition, and social life. Yet, while there has been a recent increase in studies of texts on the topic of migration generally, there are few that focus on the intersection of migration and education or on discursive patterns that transcend registers. This study introduces a multidimensional analysis approach for the identification of ideological discourses from a 9 million-word corpus of 21st century, US texts about migrant education from multiple registers (online comments; national and regional newspaper texts; and federal and state government webpages) using the distribution of lexical variables that characterize variants of migrant/migration. Eleven ideological discourses (e.g., US immigration policies are problematic, but there is no consensus for solutions) were found. Of these, several had not been previously identified, one confirmed a previously identified discourse, and several complemented and extended previously identified discursive patterns on this topic. Together, these findings reveal the highly naturalized ideologically discursive landscape that shapes educational opportunities for US migrant students.

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Keywords

migrants, education, migrant education, language

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Citation

Fitzsimmons-Doolan, S. (forthcoming) 21st Century Ideological Discourses About US Migrant Education That Transcend Registers. Corpora 18(2).