Rationalizing Racism: Arizona Representatives Employment of Euphemisms for an Assault on Mexican American Studies

Dissertation, The University of Arizona (2013)
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This study details the political climate and logic priming the termination of Mexican American Studies in elementary and high school programs within the state of Arizona. The author applies conceptual content analysis and intertextuality to decode euphemisms incorporated by opponents of the program. Primary sources by the state’s Attorney General Tom Horne and school board Superintendent of Public Instruction John Huppenthal are examined for rationales used in the elimination of a pedagogically empowering program for Latina/o students within Tucson Unified School District. Repetitive paradoxes in arguments against Mexican American Studies are found to have implicitly formed a threat to the majority. Reasoning in public statements by the aforementioned politicians and frames for discussion of the program are concluded to have appealed to mainstream audiences as a decoy from alternative motives of maintaining current power structures with Latina/os subjugated to lower socio-economic statuses compared to White counterparts.

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Maryam Shakir Miller
University of Arizona


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