FROM FREEDOM FLOTILLA TO AMERICA'S BURDEN: The Social Construction of the Mariel Immigrants

Brian Hufker, Gray Cavender

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Scopus citations

Abstract

Between April and October 1980, almost 125,000 Cubans left Mariel Harbor and came to the United States. The so‐called “Freedom Flotilla’ was an important, continuing news story during that period. Initially, the media's frame of coverage was positive: the Mariel immigrants were political refugees fleeing Cuba and needing our help. However, upon reports that Castro was sending criminals and other undersirables via the flotilla, media coverage grew negative. That negative news frame shaped the definition and the consequent stigmatization of the immigrants as a deviant population. The media's construction of the Mariel story reflected the historical and ideological context of Cuban‐U.S. relations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)321-335
Number of pages15
JournalSociological Quarterly
Volume31
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science

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