From “Paddies” to “Spics”: The Comparison between the Contemporary Anti-Immigrant Rhetoric in American Media and the Anti-Irish one in the 19th Century

Małgorzata Furgacz

Abstract


The animated debate surrounding an apparent migrant problem of the Western world, manifesting itself in either the immigration crisis in Europe or the progressing tendencies to isolationism both in Europe and in the United States of America, provides a good case to investigate the media representation of immigrants in the American context. The sometimes biased portrayal of immigrant communities in the contemporary American media, especially those with right-wing inclination, has been given a higher profile in the U.S. public discourse and bears a striking resemblance to the anti-Irish sentiment and press coverage that dominated in the U.S. in the 19th century. It is in the purview of the following paper to examine the media rhetoric and representation strategies that were used at that time and that are harnessed currently. The idea warrants discussion since the United States also prides itself for its multicultural and multiethnic heritage, which proves to highlight the polarized public opinion. In the author’s estimation, the anti-immigrant attitudes are a recurring theme in the American culture and have always divided the public.

 


Keywords


immigration, rhetoric, media, manipulation, caricatures

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.17951/nh.2017.2.100
Data publikacji: 2017-08-17 12:08:49
Data złożenia artykułu: 2017-08-17 11:48:52

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