Analyzing Language Choice among Russian-Speaking Immigrants to the United States

Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/193622
Title:
Analyzing Language Choice among Russian-Speaking Immigrants to the United States
Author:
Kasatkina, Natalia
Issue Date:
2010
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © 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.
Abstract:
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 Plus," 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.
Type:
text; Electronic Dissertation
Keywords:
family language planning; heritage language maintenance; immigration; language choice; Russian language
Degree Name:
Ph.D.
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
Language, Reading & Culture; Graduate College
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Advisor:
Ruiz, Richard
Committee Chair:
Ruiz, Richard

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoenen_US
dc.titleAnalyzing Language Choice among Russian-Speaking Immigrants to the United Statesen_US
dc.creatorKasatkina, Nataliaen_US
dc.contributor.authorKasatkina, Nataliaen_US
dc.date.issued2010en_US
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en_US
dc.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.en_US
dc.description.abstractThe 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 Plus," 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.en_US
dc.typetexten_US
dc.typeElectronic Dissertationen_US
dc.subjectfamily language planningen_US
dc.subjectheritage language maintenanceen_US
dc.subjectimmigrationen_US
dc.subjectlanguage choiceen_US
dc.subjectRussian languageen_US
thesis.degree.namePh.D.en_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineLanguage, Reading & Cultureen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
dc.contributor.advisorRuiz, Richarden_US
dc.contributor.chairRuiz, Richarden_US
dc.contributor.committeememberAriew, Robert A.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberMoll, Luis C.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberGilmore, Perryen_US
dc.identifier.proquest10904en_US
dc.identifier.oclc659754791en_US
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