Perceived challenges to nationalism often provoke vitriolic, anti-immigrant public discourse in Western societies. An imagined threat to the status of English increases this tendency in the United States of America. Definitions of and discourses about multiculturalism abound. Kincheloe & Steinberg (1997) outline five types of multiculturalism in the USA: conservative (nativist), liberal, pluralist, left-essentialist, and critical. They argue that while liberal and pluralist multiculturalism express positive messages about diversity on the surface, neither tolerates systemic solutions to social problems, which might change the status quo. Left essentialist and critical multiculturalism challenge hegemony, but only the latter acknowledges the intersectionality of race, ethnicity, class, gender, and culture. Oppositional discourse is crucial to any democracy in its ability to contest hegemonic interpretations of an event. This paper analyzes the inclusive, multicultural messages published in newspapers across the USA in response to the announcement of the release of a Spanish language version of the national anthem. These messages are situated in Kincheloe & Steinberg’s five forms of multiculturalism, emphasizing the two categories that challenge the status quo.
|Keywords:||Multiculturalism, Discourse Analysis, Language Status, Immigration, Social Justice, Nuestro Himno|
Associate Professor, College of Communication, DePaul University, Chicago, IL, USA
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