"Speak American": linguistic discrimination against Latino residents of Garden City, KS
Colcher, Drew Clifton
AdvisorShowstack, Rachel E.
MetadataShow full item record
Carter (2014), Phillips (1998), and Zentella (1997) have extensively discussed the ways that linguistic discrimination functions to suppress the maintenance of minority languages like Spanish in the U.S. This study analyzes perceptions of linguistic discrimination reported by Spanish-speaking residents of Garden City, Kansas in order to understand more about how discrimination may contribute to displacement. By focusing on the ideologies and experiences of Spanish-speaking residents, I explore Spanish as a minority language in Garden City in ways that previous literature (Broadway, 1990; Grey, 1990; Stull, 1990; etc.) has not: with language as the focus and from the perspective of the participants themselves. Data was collected from 31 first- and second-generation Latino residents using sociolinguistic interviews and two questionnaires. The interviews were transcribed and analyzed using a grounded theory approach (Charmaz, 2008; Glaser & Strauss, 1967), whereby sociolinguistic methodologies were combined with ethnography to paint a larger picture of the data presented. The findings show that experiences of discrimination can influence language practices and family language policy, and may contribute to the displacement of Spanish in the community. This thesis contributes to sociolinguistic discussions about language practices and policy, linguistic discrimination and Spanish in the U.S. Specifically, it helps expand debates about interpretation services within healthcare, ESL and dual-language education, community policing in regions with high non-English-speaking populations, the politics of Spanish as a minority language in the U.S., and the connections between all of these concepts and the maintenance or displacement of Spanish. This work adds to the database of linguistic research into "new" Latino sociolinguistic regions of the United States, and contributes to highlighting the differences and similarities between these and more established Latino sociolinguistic regions.
Thesis (M.A.)-- Wichita State University, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Dept. of English