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American immigration rhetoric: a dangerous game: critical analysis of modern immigration speeches and policy statements

Faculty Advisor




dehumanization, immigrants, Democrats, Republicans, Donald Trump, refugees, rhetoric

Abstract (summary)

The purpose of this primary research was to contrast the manner in which right-wing and left-wing political figures use rhetoric to refer to immigrants and refugees. The focus of this research was American political figures between the years of 2012 and 2018. Using critical discourse analysis and deconstruction, this paper examined speeches and policy statements from both political spectrums in order to compare their uses of dehumanizing terms in reference to immigrants and refugees. After comparing each side this paper found that in the sources analyzed, the right used dehumanizing rhetoric with more frequency and severity than the left. The units of analysis for this paper were the texts deconstructed and coded for words that fit this paper’s working definition of dehumanizing rhetoric: words or terms that suggest a lack of human qualities in an individual or group of people. The goal of this research was to highlight the way immigrants and refugees are referred to in public discourse by politicians of different political affiliations, and the potential consequences of this negative rhetoric. Course: BCSC 203 Introduction to Research Methods.

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Student Report




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