Advanced

'The Fear of Amexica' A Discourse Analysis of the Department of Homeland Security's Construction of an American National Identity

Klemetti, Sanna (2009)
Human Rights Studies
Abstract
The United States is having an identity crisis concerning it's borders. The terrorist attacks on September 11th, 2001, raised concerns about the nations borders. Year 2002, The Department of Homeland Security was created with the purpose to secure the nation from potential threats related to the borders.

This study examine which different American identities have been constructed during the 20th century and, what constitutes the American national identity, today. The study also examines if, how, and why immigration, more specificly Mexican immigration challenges the American national identity. Scholars such as, S.P Huntington, A. Smith, C. Joppke, and E. Lee, provides the study with theories about the nation-state and national identity.... (More)
The United States is having an identity crisis concerning it's borders. The terrorist attacks on September 11th, 2001, raised concerns about the nations borders. Year 2002, The Department of Homeland Security was created with the purpose to secure the nation from potential threats related to the borders.

This study examine which different American identities have been constructed during the 20th century and, what constitutes the American national identity, today. The study also examines if, how, and why immigration, more specificly Mexican immigration challenges the American national identity. Scholars such as, S.P Huntington, A. Smith, C. Joppke, and E. Lee, provides the study with theories about the nation-state and national identity. The main research question is, What kind of national American identity is portrayed/constructed at the Department of Homeland Security website and how is this related to a perceived "Mexican threat"? The study examines the DHS website. Relevant parts of the website forms the emperical material, which will be analyzed with the help of discourse analysis.

The study finds that the American national identity has since the 20th century been shaped around the American Creed, the myth of the U.S. as a nation of immigration, and the conception of the U.S. as a frontier society. The analysis of the empirical material shows that the growing concerns about the borders has resulted in the U.S., not including the frontier as a part of the identity. The study shows that for the U.S. to create a national identity, there has always been a need for an ?other?. This ?other? has taken different shapes during different times. The study finds that immigrants, from Mexico constitutes a new ?others?. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
@misc{1315866,
  abstract     = {The United States is having an identity crisis concerning it's borders. The terrorist attacks on September 11th, 2001, raised concerns about the nations borders. Year 2002, The Department of Homeland Security was created with the purpose to secure the nation from potential threats related to the borders.

This study examine which different American identities have been constructed during the 20th century and, what constitutes the American national identity, today. The study also examines if, how, and why immigration, more specificly Mexican immigration challenges the American national identity. Scholars such as, S.P Huntington, A. Smith, C. Joppke, and E. Lee, provides the study with theories about the nation-state and national identity. The main research question is, What kind of national American identity is portrayed/constructed at the Department of Homeland Security website and how is this related to a perceived "Mexican threat"? The study examines the DHS website. Relevant parts of the website forms the emperical material, which will be analyzed with the help of discourse analysis.

The study finds that the American national identity has since the 20th century been shaped around the American Creed, the myth of the U.S. as a nation of immigration, and the conception of the U.S. as a frontier society. The analysis of the empirical material shows that the growing concerns about the borders has resulted in the U.S., not including the frontier as a part of the identity. The study shows that for the U.S. to create a national identity, there has always been a need for an ?other?. This ?other? has taken different shapes during different times. The study finds that immigrants, from Mexico constitutes a new ?others?.},
  author       = {Klemetti, Sanna},
  keyword      = {The U.S.,Mexico,border fence,nation-state,American national identity,The American Creed,illegal immigration,,'other?,The Department of Homeland Security Discourse analysis,Humanities,Humaniora,Social sciences,Samhällsvetenskaper,Human rights,Mänskliga rättigheter},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {'The Fear of Amexica' A Discourse Analysis of the Department of Homeland Security's Construction of an American National Identity},
  year         = {2009},
}