Date of Award


Document Type

Union College Only

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



First Advisor

Janet Grigsby




mexico, attitudes, beliefs, states, united


Throughout their history, the United States and Mexico have had a close yet problematic relationship. Since 9/11, attitudes toward foreigners in general have deteriorated in the United States. Attitudes toward Mexico and Mexicans have been affected by continuing concerns about undocumented immigration and border violence. Popular media play a significant role in fostering these stigmatized and stereotyped beliefs and attitudes. This study examines the relationship between media portrayals of Mexico and Mexicans and the stereotyped and stigmatized beliefs of U.S. citizens. The image of Mexico in the United States is important because of Mexico's close geographical proximity and because more immigrants have come from Mexico than from any other country. Mexico is also our third largest trading partner. An anonymous questionnaire was administered to a convenience sample of students in General-Education and Introductory courses at Union College. Survey items explored students’ knowledge, education, and beliefs about Mexico and its people. Analysis of these data produces a better understanding of how people’s opinions on these issues are formed, why Mexico has become such a target, and the accuracy of the public’s perceptions. Such understanding is necessary if we are to improve relations between the two countries.