Child language socialization in Tucson: United States Mexican households.
AuthorGonzalez, Norma Elaine.
KeywordsChildren -- United States -- Language.
Children -- Language -- Case studies.
Socialization -- United States.
Socialization -- Cross-cultural studies.
Sociolinguistics -- United States.
AdvisorPhilips, Susan U.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractPrevious studies in child language socialization have adopted the approach of studying how children become competent members of their social groups through the use of language. This study began as an attempt to study child language socialization within selected Tucson U.S. Mexican households within this prevailing paradigm. During the course of fieldwork, it was found that the complexities of Borderlands structural and hegemonic relationships could not be adequately addressed within a theoretical assumption of homeostatic and monosemic communities. The ambiguities of "Mexican-ness" do not provide a consensually agreed upon or collectively implicit framework for language socialization. Instead, fluid domains are contested and negotiated as language socialization is construed as a constitutive process of "selfhood" for the child. Rather than replicating and reproducing previously transmitted information, certain parents and caregivers were found to actively engage in constructing an ethos for their own childhood experiences. Multivocality within multiple interactive spheres was identified as parents and caregivers often alternated between symbolic resistance and opposition, and accomodation. Additionally, an affective base for language socialization is postulated. An "emotion of minority status" that is structurally constituted and embedded within regional hegemonic relations is presented as a formative backdrop for children in this population. The essential methodology involved lengthy ethnographic observations coupled with audiocassette recordings of naturally occurring speech. Caregivers were supplied with tape recorders and cassettes and were asked to record interaction within the households, specifically at mealtime, bed time and homework sessions. In-depth open-ended interviews were taped with parents, and in some cases, grandparents, regarding their own perceptions of child-rearing, language habits, and value orientations. Extensive household histories, detailing residential, labor and family history, were also collected.