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Language Shift in the United States and Foreign-Born Older Mexican Heritage Individuals: Co-ethnic Context for Language Resistance

TitleLanguage Shift in the United States and Foreign-Born Older Mexican Heritage Individuals: Co-ethnic Context for Language Resistance
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsSiordia, C, Diaz, ME
JournalHisp J Behav SciHisp J Behav Sci
Volume34
Pagination525-538
Date PublishedNov 1
ISBN Number0739-9863 (Print)<br/>0739-9863 (Linking)
Accession Number25104874
AbstractIn this study, we investigate individual-level language shift in a population of Mexican origin Latinos/as aged 65 and up. By using data from the Hispanic Established Populations for the Epidemiologic Study of the Elderly, we investigate their English language use as the dependent variable in a hierarchical linear model. The microlevel independent continuous variable is their level of contact with "Anglos"; the macrolevel continuous independent variable is the percentage of Mexicans in tract of residence. After accounting for their generational status, other microlevel social and health covariates, and tract-level attributes, we found a direct relationship between contact with Anglos and a "shift" toward more English language use, where as co-ethnic concentration increases, the influence of contact with Anglos decreases. We frame this article with a discussion on language shifting, and explain how co-ethnic concentration may provide the resources for engaging in a language resistance.