Make American Great for Mexicans? The Effects of Donald Trump's Political Campaign on Public Opinion of Mexican Immigrants

by Brooke Ann Biolo

Institution: Louisiana State University
Year: 2017
Keywords: Immigration Policy; Mexican Americans; Mexican Immigrants; Political Campaign; Donald Trump; U.S Mexico relations; Mexico; public opinion
Posted: 02/01/2018
Record ID: 2222139
Full text PDF: http://etd.lsu.edu/docs/available/etd-04102017-143232/;


The present study examines the effects that U.S. President Donald Trumps political campaign has had on public opinion of Mexican immigrants. By examining the long history of oppression of Mexicans on U.S. soil and even prior to the establishment of the U.S., the study creates a base and then employs a discourse analysis that proves that Trumps rhetoric is perpetuating some of the same stereotypes that have followed Mexicans since Europeans began settling in the Americas. Public opinion was gauged using a carefully constructed survey and the results show that overall, Trumps harsh stereotypical rhetoric has spurred a narrative of defiance in U.S. citizens. They are hearing Trumps harsh words and outwardly opposing them, choosing inclusivity and love as a response to exclusivity and hatred. Among the more negative responses there were a few stereotypical themes that did come up including language discrimination, allusion to various stereotypes and assumed difference. Though there were some participants that clearly took a dominant decoding of Trumps rhetoric and are indeed perpetuating his negative stereotypical ideals, the vast majority of participants in the present study showed a great defiance and acceptance for difference, a trend that has clearly arisen in the U.S. as a result of Trumps campaign and now presidency.Advisors/Committee Members: Cortazar, Alejandro (chair), Brody, Mary J. (committee member), Orozco, Rafael (committee member).