This dissertation questions: How is the social imaginary about the meaning of being white in Mexico produced, reproduced, and problematized in Twitter Discourse? How is the social imaginary about the meaning of being white in Argentina produced, reproduced, and problematized in Twitter Discourse? How are the social imaginaries in Twitter Discourse in Mexico and Argentina related to the cultural and symbolic power exercised by the United States, and does US power influence the structure of privileges built around Whiteness? For doing that, I collected up to 10K tweets using two keywords to identify discourses surrounding Whiteness in tweets from users in Mexico and Argentina and analyzed up to 300 tweets per keyword using Critical Discourse Analysis tools. The findings demonstrate that research on Twitter is valid to explore communities from inside and interpret problems that go beyond digital environments. Furthermore, Twitter provides a unique opportunity to review Whiteness and question its privilege structures. In addition, the tweets operate as a cultural manifestation of the latent social unrest gruesomely exposing racism, dehumanization, eliminationism, and contempt for otherness favored by the affordances of the medium. My approach focused on Argentina and Mexico tweets as selected cases able to reflect the reality of the region in order to explore the function of Whiteness in everyday conversations, considering the impact of digital technologies in society. Both countries represent well-differentiated social structures, and embody particular ways of living ethnicity, cultural capitalism, and globalization. Although to be considered 'white' in Argentina is not the same as in Mexico, they also retain certain identity features related to conceptions of Whiteness that allow its study. Even more interesting, I found that studying Whiteness in these two countries also illustrated the influence of the United States as a cultural and symbolic power in the development of white supremacist ideas.
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
College of Arts and Humanities
Texts and Technology
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)
Heredia, Erika Maribel, "How Twitter Exposes Daily Whiteness Practices in Mexico and Argentina" (2021). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2020-. 694.