Title

American, Hispanic, Spanish-Speaking? Hispanic Immigrants and the Question of Identity

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2016

Department

Foreign Languages and Literature

Abstract

This article explores Hispanics' concepts of cultural and linguistic identity. It is based on the findings of a recent study conducted by the author in Iglesia hispana de Cristo, a Hispanic church community in Western New York. Data come from ethnographic interviews conducted with 48 participants aged 13 to 80 years and with church leaders and from participant observation. Findings indicate that conceptions of identity vary according to age and generation of immigration. Older, first-generation immigrants view language and culture as inextricably linked, and believe that passing on the Spanish language to their children is an essential parenting responsibility. Younger, U.S.-born Hispanics and those who immigrated at a young age, on the other hand, tend to prioritize Hispanic culture over the Spanish language.

Publication Title

Journal of Language Identity and Education

Volume

15

Issue

6

First Page

344

Last Page

360

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