Cecilia Menjívar and Sang Kil


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For Their Own Good: Benevolent Rhetoric and Exclusionary Language in Public Officials’ Discourse on Immigrant-Related Issues

Menjívar and Kil use media analysis to explore the subtle exclusionary language in U.S. public officials’ discourse on immigrant-related issues. Their case studies, primarily of Latino immigrants, demonstrate how “liberal,” benevolent rhetoric can disguise exclusionary practices toward immigrants and criminalize their behaviors without proposing viable alternatives to improve the conditions being condemned. Benevolent rhetoric based on law and order often serves to substantiate the opponents of immigration, who use more restrictionist language.

immigration, social control, immigration, liberal discourse, discourse analysis, food habits, housing — United States, immigrants — United States, medical care — United States

Citation: Social Justice Vol. 29, Nos. 1-2 (2002): 160-176