Date of Award
Bachelor of Arts
Assimilation, ethnicity, immigrant replenishment, immigration, language, later generation, Mexican, Mexican descendants, Mexican immigrants, second generation, Spanish
Immigrant replenishment may affect assimilation patterns of US-born descendants by maintaining the use and relevance of the language of origin. This study asks, how does Mexican immigrant replenishment affect Spanish language use among adult US-born Mexican descendants? Descendants include members of the second or later generations. I propose that greater exposure to Mexican immigrants will encourage adult US-born Mexican descendants to maintain their ethnic origins, especially language of origin. Therefore, the higher the rate of immigrant replenishment, the more likely respondents will speak Spanish at home. I analyze a five-year cumulative data file of the US American Community Survey (ACS) from 2011 to 2015, which represents 5 percent of the US population. The ACS uses stratified cluster sampling to collect data from 15,637,457 respondents. The sample is limited to US-born Mexican descendants, who were 25 years of age, married, and heads of households or spouses thereof. This limited the analysis to 187,212 respondents. I found that college attendance and higher family income decrease the odds of speaking Spanish at home. I also found that as immigrant replenishment increases, the odds of respondents speaking Spanish at home increases and decreases. As immigrant replenishment increases, respondents with Hispanic spouses are more likely to speak Spanish at home. However, respondents with non-Hispanic spouses are less likely to speak Spanish at home, which may be a result of sharpened intragroup boundaries created by new immigrants. The results confirm that Mexican immigrant replenishment significantly affects speaking Spanish at home for adult US-born Mexican descendants.
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Sosa, Ana, "Identity Crisis: Effect of Immigrant Replenishment on Spanish Language Use Among US-born Mexican Descendants" (2018). Sociology Senior Seminar Papers. 7.