Wrapped Up in the Flag: Immigration, Ethnic Studies, and Gun Legislation in Arizona

Frances Julia Riemer

Abstract


In this article, I direct an anthropological lens to the state's university campuses and to the discursive construction and marketing, as well as the accommodation, negotiation, and contestation of the state's controversial legislation around diversity education and guns. Focusing on tertiary education, I examine both the ways that the rhetoric of liberalism, that of constitutional rights, the nation state, and individualism in particular, has been employed to package and sell the state's anti-Ethnic Studies and pro-gun initiatives, and the discursive struggles in which university communities have been engaged in the attempt to rebut these political incursions. I argue that a liberal discourse has been employed to defend what otherwise might be perceived as discriminatory positions enacted on the state level in Arizona. In this border state, demarcated by ever growing racial and class-based difference, legislation promoting assimilationist pedagogy, and wider gun distribution may be desired, but it is most easily defended when wrapped up in the stars and stripes of liberalism.

 


Keywords


Immigration; Ethnic Studies; Gun Legislation; Discourse of Power; Liberalism

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ISSN 1920-4175 Critical Education