Language and identity : the second generation of Hispanic adolescents in Brisbane

Mejía, Glenda (2001). Language and identity : the second generation of Hispanic adolescents in Brisbane M.A. Thesis, School of Languages and Comparative Cultural Studies, The University of Queensland.

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Author Mejía, Glenda
Thesis Title Language and identity : the second generation of Hispanic adolescents in Brisbane
School, Centre or Institute School of Languages and Comparative Cultural Studies
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2001
Thesis type M.A. Thesis
Supervisor Prof Cindy Gallois
Total pages 160
Language eng
Subjects 20 Language, Communication and Culture
Abstract/Summary The aim of this project was to integrate two topics of research, identity and language use, within the field of socio-psycholinguistics. This process should help to increase our understanding of the acculturation process involved in promoting Hispanic identity and Spanish language use by second-generation Hispanic adolescents. Berry's Acculturation Theory (1970, 1980, 1990) was the theoretical framework adopted in this project. Each individual who emigrates traverses, one way or another, the process of acculturation, which refers to an individual's experience, influenced by the cultural change that results from continuous contact between two distinct cultural groups. Most changes occur in the non-dominant or acculturating group, as a result of influence from the dominant group or host society. Berry proposed four acculturation groups: assimilation, integration, marginalisation and separation. One hundred and five Hispanic adolescents were involved in the study, and completed a structured questionnaire and a semi-structured interview. The results reported in the thesis included quantitative and qualitative data, analysed separately. The quantitative data were analysed using correspondence analysis, while the qualitative data included coding of specific attitudes from tape-recorded conversations. The quantitative data analysis comprised two parts. First, a correspondence analysis was conducted to explore the correlation between antecedent variables (e.g., age) and consequent variables (e.g., identity). This analysis indicated that Spanish identification and language use were more strongly correlated with length of residence and age on arrival than with sex or country of birth. A second correspondence analysis was conducted with consequences and acculturation groups. This analysis indicated that those participants who used Spanish most of the time tended to describe themselves as Hispanic or bicultural. On the other hand, those participants who used less Spanish tended to identify themselves as Australian or Hispanic. In the qualitative data, participants reported a strong tendency towards integration and separation, rather than assimilation and marginalisation. Results indicated that both integrated and separated participants felt more strongly about maintaining the Spanish language than their actual language proficiency or use would indicate. Taken together, the results provide evidence that language does not determine identity; but does provide a way to express it, and that culture is a salient predictor of ethnic identity.
Keyword Sociolinguistics
Latin Americans -- Queensland -- Brisbane

Document type: Thesis
Collection: UQ Theses (RHD) - UQ staff and students only
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Created: Thu, 27 Jun 2013, 16:13:54 EST by Eric Sun on behalf of Social Sciences and Humanities Library Service