Since, 2001, we have seen a dramatic increase in the deportation and enforcement of the immigrant population. An estimated 400,000 immigrants were removed from 2008 alone, compared to the 18,000 in 1980.
Michel Foucault is a French philosopher and postmodernist thinker of the twentieth century. A widely respected individual, Foucault dove into a wide range of topics such as sociology, history, and philosophy. Specific topics he is very well known for are his ideology of discourse, discipline, biopower, and social construction. He defines social construction as the understanding of the world through shared ideas; an agreement on what we consider to be normal, traditional, or natural. It is through social construction, we define meanings and assign connotations to objects events, environments, and groups. We see social construction in horrific events like 9/11.
In this article, “Stanford experts: how 9/11 changed the world.”, experts in various fields express their opinion on how the terrorist attack changed the world’s perspective of social groups and the fear of terrorist attacks. Robert Crew, an expert on Muslim networks, shared that “The United States is more intolerant and less curious about the world beyond the walls of the garrison. State legislatures have introduced harsh legislation against immigrants and demonized Islam.” Presently, It has become a social construct for people to fear immigrants. Since 9/11, we have seen harsher and stricter enforcement of immigration laws and searches of many different ethnic groups in borders and airports. Foucault defines discourse as our beliefs, values and the means of language. It is what governs discipline institutions and society. We can see how 9/11 influenced our discourse, by examining the actions of our government, laws, military, and society’s perspective of the “Islamic People” and immigrants. Priya Satia, a war, technology, and culture expert, shared the story of how her “3-year-old is on a Department of Homeland Security blacklist. The problem is his blessing of a name: Kabir. Kabir is Arabic for “great,” but the name has a special significance on the Indian subcontinent…last week when we flew from Delhi to San Francisco, Kabir underwent special screenings and pat-downs, although his unruly tresses produced some confusion about his gender in addition to the concern with his possible involvement with an unspecified terrorist network. Once I clarify his status with the DHS, his name will not be simply struck from the blacklist but will be included in another list – individuals who sound like they might be terrorists but are not. The world has indeed changed since 9/11.
Society’s view on terrorism and immigrants has greatly changed in these last 15 years. We can see how feared immigrants and groups of muslim and Islamic backgrounds have become. Presidential candidates making promises to build a wall to block out immigrants, deport them out of the country, and “bomb the hell out of them”. This social construction of fear has become very dangerous.
Haven, Cynthia. “Stanford Experts: How 9/11 Has Changed The World. “Stanford University. N.P., 11 Aug. 2011. Web. 15 July 2016