Latina/o Health Discourses in Newsprint Media from 2006-2010: A Content Analysis of Four Syndicated Newspapers
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Latina/o health discourses stem from historical and social notions of biological, cultural, and racial inferiority. Popular U.S. newspapers pay scant attention to Latina/o health concerns and often inaccurately portray Latinas/os as undeserving foreigners that continue to drain social services such as health care. A content analysis of 291 New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, and Houston Chronicle newspaper articles (2006-2010) reveals that Latina/o health discourses are grounded in a racialized medical narrative that justifies and sustains white racial oppression. Systemic racism and the white racial frame are utilized as theoretical frameworks to better understand how mainstream newspapers construct the medical racialization of Latinas/os and contribute to health disparities, unequal access to health services, and inadequate health care. The findings reveal that Latina/o health issues concerning high costs, population increase, and political marginality, influence anti-Latina/o legislation, sustain prevailing racism, and create exclusionary health practices. Fundamentally the anti-Latina/o sentiment presented in the newspapers and disseminated throughout society equates to the denial of resources, the denial of health care, and thus the denial of life. Challenging racist Latina/o perceptions is an important area of social science and anti-racism research. Ultimately, without a healthy Latina/o workforce, the economy could not sustain itself and society would be susceptible to economic, social, and political collapse.
white racial frame
Ortega, Frank J (2013). Latina/o Health Discourses in Newsprint Media from 2006-2010: A Content Analysis of Four Syndicated Newspapers. Master's thesis, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from