Revistes Catalanes amb Accés Obert (RACO)

Acculturation and Hispanic adolescents: language and identity

Glenda Mejía


The aim of this paper is to integrate two topics of research, identity and language use, within the field of socio-psycholinguistics, thereby increasing our understanding and knowledge of the acculturation process involved in promoting Hispanic identity and Spanish language use by second-generation Hispanic Adolescents in Australia. A specific aim is to examine the four acculturation groups identified by Berry (1970, 1980, 1990, 2001) and their impact on group identity and language use through the use of qualitative data. The analysis uses portions of transcripts from tape-recorded interviews obtained through the participation of fifty male and female Hispanic adolescents. 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.

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