Ideological multiplicity in discourse: Language shift and bilingual schooling in Tlaxcala, Mexico
KeywordsEducation, Language and Literature.
Education, Bilingual and Multicultural.
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.
AbstractThis study is based on participant observation and ethnographic fieldwork in Tlaxcala, Mexico and looks at language use and linguistic ideology in several Mexicano speaking communities undergoing language shift in the Malintsi (Malinche) region of Central Mexico. Many Tlaxcalans expressed conflicting feelings about teaching Mexicano to their children, while some actively avoid transmitting the indigenous language. I suggest that there is ideological multiplicity that surfaces in discourses of language, identity and progress. This multiplicity is organized through three discourses that have local, regional, and national expressions, these are: the pro-development meta-discourse of salir adelante, or forging ahead, and improving one's socioeconomic position; menosprecio , the denigration of indigenous identity; and third, the pro-indigena or pro-indigenous discourse that promotes a positive attitude towards indigenous-ness. The analysis of discourse offers a productive means for understanding the semiotic resources speakers employ as they orient towards and against particular identities through discourses they create and tap into. Using recorded data collected during field research, I analyze "naturally occurring" and elicited speech, and interviews conducted with local people on language use, ideology, shift, and bilingual schooling. The study of bilingual schooling offers an important site for the study of ideological multiplicity. Bilingual-indigenous schools in Tlaxcala as both community and nation-state institutions are a nexus for the discursive emergence and local reformulation of ideologies of language, identity, modernity, and the nation. I consider the politics and possibilities of language revitalization through the school system, focusing on the dialectics between agency and structure, as local communities and teachers interact with the national system. Despite the tremendous structural and ideological constraints on bilingual teachers, several are dedicated "language promoters." In this dissertation I suggest that focusing on ideological multiplicity, surfacing in and through discourse, can begin to address the question of how and why speakers shift their ideologies and their languages.
Degree ProgramGraduate College