AAA Annual Meeting Program

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Paper Information:
Type: Paper
Paper Title: IF ANYONE HEARS THIS: CONTESTING DISCOURSES OF IMMIGRATION
Author: BRIDGET HAYDEN (University of Southern Mississippi)   
Date/Time: Wed., 12:45 PM
Co-Author(s): BRIDGET HAYDEN (University of Southern Mississippi) 
Abstract: Latino immigrants, particularly the undocumented, are subject to circulating discourses that define and discipline them in both national and class inflected ways. These discourses include both locally and nationally produced structures of knowledge that define race, place, and belonging. Often these discourses are made publicly available to immigrants in unspoken ways as they are materialized in encounters, including failed ones, between immigrants and non-immigrants. These produce processes of inclusion and exclusion that inform expectations of future encounters and shape daily activities. Among immigrants, knowledge about these discourses and their real consequences circulate freely, for example through rumors of possible sites of immigration enforcement and beliefs about racism. However, they rarely have an opportunity to answer back. This paper will draw on two projects where immigrants were asked what messages they would send to native-born Mississippians to examine how people mobilize discourses of inclusion and exclusion as they deal with the “stranger fetishism” (Ahmed 2000) they encounter and hear about. What are modes and sites of encounter and failed engagements through which Latino immigrants in Mississippi are recognized or fetishized? What messages do they communicate in their efforts to create alternative public spaces, times, and terms of recognition? The messages sent show that immigrants at once contest and draw on hegemonic discourses of race and US national identity in their efforts to lay claim to legitimate spaces of belonging and engagement.

Program Number: 1-0090
Session Title: DISCOURSE, ENGAGEMENT, AND ETHNOGRAPHY: TOPICS IN LOCAL AND GLOBAL PRACTICE
Session Sponsor: National Association for the Practice of Anthropology
Session Date/Time: Wed., 12:00 PM-1:45 PM
Organizer(s): ANNUAL MEETING PROGRAM COMMITTEE (AAA) 
Chair(s): RICARDO CONTRERAS  
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