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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Heritage Language and Cultural Affiliation in Mixed-Heritage Young Adults
by Holtz, Madeleine, M.A., California State University, Long Beach, 2020, 173; 28153505
Abstract (Summary)

While research on heritage language (HL) proficiency and ethnic identity formation has grown in recent years, few studies have focused on these topics relative to the mixed-heritage population. Upon completion of a basic HL proficiency questionnaire, 14 mixed-heritage young adults participated in semi-structured interviews, addressing their family backgrounds, their language experiences, and their ethnic identities. Using discourse analysis and language socialization as analytical tools, the examination revealed how participants’ discursive constructions of mixed identities are linked to their HL experiences (or lack thereof) both at home during childhood as well as later during their college years and beyond. Additionally, the analysis yielded the development of typologies related to participants’ narrative trajectories of self-identification and a number of other factors, which highlighted the impact of the ethnic and racial demographics of their neighborhoods and educational environments and their families’ socialization practices. A few participants only claimed one or neither of their ethnic backgrounds. These results suggest that there may be differences in self-identification for participants with dual minority heritage, specifically those who have two non-American parents. This study aims to fill the gap concerning mixed-heritage individuals’ experiences with heritage language proficiency and ethnic self-identification, as these discussions are lacking in educational institutions, research, and society.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Klein, Wendy
Commitee: Finney, Malcolm, Carreira, María
School: California State University, Long Beach
Department: Linguistics
School Location: United States -- California
Source: MAI 82/8(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Linguistics
Keywords: Cultural affiliation, Ethnic identity, Heritage language proficiency, Heritage language socialization, Mixed heritage
Publication Number: 28153505
ISBN: 9798582504054
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