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Author Kasatkina, Natalia
Title Analyzing language choice among Russian-speaking immigrants to the United States
book jacket
Descript 239 p
Note Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 71-05, Section: A, page:
Adviser: Richard Ruiz
Thesis (Ph.D.)--The University of Arizona, 2010
The resolution of the language question---whether to maintain the mother tongue, shift to the mainstream language, or try to maintain two or more languages in the family---creates a lot of psychological complications and linguistic reflections. The present study explores how external variables and internal controversies affect the choice of language by an individual family member as well as the family as a whole unit, and how this choice, in its turn, impacts the relationships within the family
This study draws on the several theoretical domains of immigration, psychology, and language acquisition. Relying on these theoretical frameworks, the major findings are synthesized, and a paradigm of language choice at the family level is formulated
A mixed-method research design allows a broad outlook on the Russian-speaking immigrants, comparison of immigrants from the former Soviet Union with immigrants of other nationalities, and restricted and concentrated analysis at the family level. The Integrated Public Use Microdata Series (IPUMS) data set helps to address the quantitative part of this dissertation, while the qualitative part is based on in-depth case studies of four immigrant families
Building on the fundamental position that development happens as the result of the resolution of controversies, I suggest that there are four levels of controversy located in the language-choice model: societal, family, personal, and eventual outcomes of these three levels
Four "language choice" profiles, designated as "Amotivational," "Instrumental," "Intrinsic," and "Intrinsic +," have emerged out of the theoretical and research findings
The findings show that the crucial characteristics of the families who chose to maintain the mother tongue and foster bi-literacy in their children are the following: (1) a stress on knowing the country of origin and its culture; (2) a declared desire within the family that the children be different from the parents' perception of American children; (3) an emphasis by the parents on the children's "Russianness" and on the formation of that ethnic identity; and (4) an emphasis on a consistently realized, strong language policy at home
School code: 0009
Host Item Dissertation Abstracts International 71-05A
Subject Education, Bilingual and Multicultural
Slavic Studies
Sociology, Sociolinguistics
Alt Author The University of Arizona. Language, Reading & Culture
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