The Representation and Shaping of the Hispanic Identity and the Assignment of Power in Three Types of HSI-Related Discourse: HEA Amendments, UTEP President Diana Natalicio Convocation Speeches, Academic Articles

Julie Ann Rivera, University of Texas at El Paso

Abstract

This dissertation examines the impact of Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI) related written discourse on the representation and shaping of the Hispanic identity and the assignment of power. Performing a critical discourse analysis of three types of written HSI-related discourse: amendments to the Higher Education Act (HEA), academic articles, and UTEP President Diana Natalicio convocation speeches, I look below the surface of the discourse to draw out implications for Hispanic students and HSIs. My analysis merges Norman Fairclough’s method of Critical Discourse Analysis, known for its focus on the relationship between language and society, with Lloyd Bitzer’s The Rhetorical Situation, which will address the inclusion of a rhetorical component in this discussion. The blending of Fairclough’s methodology and Bitzer’s rhetorical situation is key to understanding the impact of the selected written HSI-related discourse through the incorporation of linguistic analysis with a social, rhetorical element. The Hispanic-Serving Institution designation, legislatively defined in the 1992 amendment to the HEA, is especially relevant in this analysis because the vast majority of Hispanic students attend HSIs. My research shows that the representation and shaping of the Hispanic identity is distinct to each type of artifact, as is the associated context. Power is assigned differently within each type of artifact; the strength of the assignment is linked to HSI and Hispanic student achievements, or lack thereof, presented in the discourse. The findings in this dissertation emphasize the impact of the selected HSI-related discourse and highlight the significant gap in information related to HSI and Hispanic student successes. The dearth of information about this topic is itself a contributing factor in the representation and shaping of the Hispanic identity and the assignment of power.

Subject Area

Rhetoric|Social research|Ethnic studies

Recommended Citation

Rivera, Julie Ann, "The Representation and Shaping of the Hispanic Identity and the Assignment of Power in Three Types of HSI-Related Discourse: HEA Amendments, UTEP President Diana Natalicio Convocation Speeches, Academic Articles" (2019). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI13878353.
https://digitalcommons.utep.edu/dissertations/AAI13878353

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