Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Mean green: A visual cultural analysis of the National Border Patrol Museum
by Moreno, Gabriela E., Ph.D., The University of Arizona, 2012, 205; 3508915
Abstract (Summary)

The National Border Patrol Museum (NBPM) in El Paso, Texas presents a view of the history, culture and life along the U.S.-Mexico border that no other museum in the world can offer. Moreover, it provides an opportunity to study and understand people and life in the border through the different forms in which they are representing themselves and how others view them as well. Mean Green: A Visual Cultural Analysis of the National Border Patrol Museum is a visual cultural analysis of the museum that deploys theoretical approaches in the disciplines of visual and cultural studies, Border Studies, Ethnic Studies, discourse analysis, museology, and spatial theory.

The objectives of this dissertation are: (1) to study the varied representations, i.e., the hypermasculine white American male and the disenfranchised "illegal" immigrant, that reinforce and challenge the dominant discourse present in the hegemonic state and which are deconstructed when rearticulated in everyday border life; (2) to analyze why the museum represents a homotopia within the limits of a heterotopia; (3) to learn how the museum creates imagined communities through the use of its historical patrimony; (4) to observe the practices in relations of power by employing the notion of panopticon in their design and impose power over its visitors; and finally (5) to understand how the museum is providing a commodification of symbols to promote the hegemonic state.

I reference historical events to frame the research for this project: history of the border, especially the El Paso border region, the creation of The Fraternal Order of Retired Border Patrol Officers, the history of the Border Patrol and the NBPM. Altogether, this work shows how the National Border Patrol Museum's exhibits and artifact displays are a reflection of what is happening in the border region.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Gutierrez, Laura
Commitee: Alvarez, Maribel, Compitello, Malcolm
School: The University of Arizona
Department: Spanish
School Location: United States -- Arizona
Source: DAI-A 73/09(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Cultural anthropology, Folklore, Museum studies
Keywords: Border studies, Heterotopia, Homies, Homotopia, National Border Patrol Museum, Texas, Visual cultural studies
Publication Number: 3508915
ISBN: 978-1-267-34968-2
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