Representations Of Immigration Through Music Essay

3642 words - 15 pages

Art encompasses many different forms, from paintings, writing, drawing, dance, and even music. It is a way of expression for the artist in its various forms. Music, in particular, allows the artist and listener to engage in the work and better understand what the musician wanted to tell. Music provides listeners with an escape from their world and into a world filled with tunes and emotion. There are many different genres and types of music and each can tell a story. Looking at these artists’ music videos, they also represent feelings of the artists. Things in the videos are used specifically to create an affective feeling and response. Music is able to represent different events and discus contested issues in a forum that the artist can explicitly express their ideas on. Immigration, especially illegal immigration, is an issue that receives a great amount of attention in the media, but also attention in music. Many artists take to song to express their thoughts about immigration and its impact on their lives. This paper will examine the differences in affective response to immigration in music and the media. While both are talking about the same topic, music is used to create a different response than the mainstream media can. Music represents a larger narrative about the representation of immigration. The videos for song affect how we think and feel about immigration.
Why has Mexican migration become such a problem? The United States is a nation of immigrants but as time progresses we shift towards an ever-present anti-immigrant sentiment. The course of history has changed from welcoming immigrant groups with open arms to turning them away when they are no longer needed. For Mexican migration, this can be traced back to the Bracero Program. This program occurred from 1942-1964, which was a series of agreements between Mexico and the United States to bring Mexican contract laborers to the United States. Migration was encouraged and discouraged from both sides. The United States openly allowed migrants to enter, but enacted measures to ensure undocumented peoples were not entering the United States. The Mexican government and media also discouraged migrants from going o the United States. Newspapers and politicians alike, warned migrants of the potential discrimination they could face. The United States appeared to be the Promised Land, in which there was a need for cheap labor, something that was difficult to find in Mexico. Following this, illegal immigration also began to rise, which caused the United States to increase border patrol agents. This changed how the border patrol was and into what it is today. Mexican migrants began to be seen as a threat, instead of looking the many reasons for leaving Mexico, like a decreased job market and the still present effects of the failed Mexican Revolution. This program along with many acts to follow set the stage for increased anti-immigrant sentiment and frames what many Mexican American...

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