Document Type

Article

Department/Program

Sociology

Journal Title

Ethnic and Racial Studies

Pub Date

9-18-2012

Publisher

Taylor & Francis

Volume

37

Issue

3

Journal Article URL

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/01419870.2012.716521

First Page

496

Abstract

This article examines media representations of immigration in Williamsburg, Virginia, a ‘new immigrant destination’ in the USA. Through a content analysis of coverage in Williamsburg's local newspaper, we explore how reporters, columnists and readers draw on nationally and internationally circulating discourses to produce public interpretations of immigration issues and construct symbolic boundaries between and among in-groups and ‘others’ in the community. ‘National boundaries drawn locally’ captures how media actors use nationally recognizable frames to interpret local issues and define the parameters of community and national belonging. ‘Localized symbolic boundaries’ take their meanings from place-based, cultural understandings, specific economic conditions and demographics in the local setting. Newspaper discussions in Williamsburg distinguish between ‘deserving’ foreign student workers (primarily from Eastern Europe and Asia) and ‘undeserving’, racialized, Latino ‘others’. Our analysis advances theories of boundary construction and holds implications for the politics of belonging more generally in other immigrant-receiving contexts.

DOI

https://doi.org/10.1080/01419870.2012.716521

Publisher Statement

This is the accepted (post-print) version of the manuscript.

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