Department of Teaching, Learning and Teacher Education


Date of this Version



Catalano, Theresa A. (2016) "Linguistic Construction of Migrant Identity in U.S. Crime Reports," CALL: Irish Journal for Culture, Arts, Literature and Language: Vol. 1: Iss. 1, Article 11. doi:10.21427/D78G6S Available at:


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This article explores the representation of Latino migrants in U.S. crime reports. Through multidisciplinary linguistic analysis incorporating critical discourse analysis and cognitive linguistics, the author demonstrates how migrant identity is constructed linguistically in media discourse using various linguistic strategies to reveal an underlying xeno-racist discourse that serves the dominant group’s purpose of staying in power. The contribution of this paper lies in its systematic illustration of the covert nature in which this discourse is (re)produced in crime reports and the connections it can have to immigration policies and public attitudes. In addition, the aim of the paper is to serve as a springboard for social and political change through consciousness-raising and the ability to critically deconstruct texts to reveal underlying messages.