A critical discourse analysis of Gisela's family story: a construal of deportation, illegal immigrants, and literacy

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Abstract

In this paper, I use critical discourse analysis to analyze a student's narrative about the arrest, incarceration, and deportation of her mother to Mexico. The student, Gisela, was a fifth grader in my classroom during the 2008/2009 school year, and I encouraged the students to collect family stories from their relatives. Gisela created this story, and she wrote and illustrated this with the help of her father, student peers, and me. I draw on Gloria Anzaldúa's constructs of nepantla and nepantlera, narrative analysis, and systemic functional linguistics to show how Gisela's construed this story to create a powerful and creative narrative that disrupted autonomous forms of literacy along with the excluding and damaging discourses circulating about immigrants in our community.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)409-423
Number of pages15
JournalDiscourse
Volume36
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - May 27 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Linguistics and Language

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