The simultaneity of experience: Multiple identities and symbolic uses of language among Mexican-Americans
AdvisorPhilips, Susan U.
Committee ChairPhilips, Susan U.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThis thesis focuses on multiple identity constructions and symbolic uses of language among Mexican-Americans in Arizona. The concept of a homogeneous "Mexican-American community" is shown to be a construct--an imagined community. Building on anthropological conceptualizations of identity, and studies in language and identity, a framework of the simultaneity of experience focuses the analysis in terms of ethnicity, class, and gender, framing a discussion of the emotional dimension of minority status and the symbolic function of language in identity. Rather than offer a comprehensive analysis of a bounded Mexican-American identity, this paper offers insight into the construction of multiple identities, through the analysis of discourse from a small group of people; individual voices are highlighted through the use of case studies. Conceptualizations of identity construction are problematized, including the common expectation of heterogeneity in ethnic groups such as those of Mexican heritage.
Degree ProgramGraduate College