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Stories in Mexico and the United States About the Border: The Rhetoric and the Realities
Intercultural Human Rights Law Review
  • Gloria Valencia-Weber, University of New Mexico - School of Law
  • Antoinette Sedillo Lopez
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Our goal in this article is to demonstrate how perspective, political agenda, and personal experiences affect how stories about the Mexico-U.S. Border are framed. The framing is shaped by audience and emotional appeal, as well as political agenda. Stories framed and portrayed as personal experiences and stock narratives about a group or country can shape the attitude, experience, and behavior of others. Our discussion will: 1) examine the concept of using word choices and metaphors as devices in storytelling to frame political, economic and social issues, which are meant to evoke certain emotional responses among specific audiences in the immigration debates; 2) describe the legal history of the border as a legal and social construct as background for the stories that are told about immigration; 3) demonstrate with examples of stories published in Mexico and the U.S. that portray how some stories about the border are being framed in the U.S. and in Mexico by identifying word choices, metaphors, audience, social and/or political connections and emotional responses provoked in these narratives, particularly examples of stories published in Mexico; 4) examine the traditional mental frames created by the border stories that do not describe the effect of U.S. policies and practices on a cross-national indigenous community; and finally 5) demonstrate how the members of the transnational tribal communities have worked to tell their own stories about the lived realities of their border experiences.

Citation Information
Gloria Valencia-Weber and Antoinette Sedillo Lopez. "Stories in Mexico and the United States About the Border: The Rhetoric and the Realities" Intercultural Human Rights Law Review Vol. 5 (2010) p. 241
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