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ERIC Number: ED011609
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1966-Feb
Pages: 6
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
SOME CULTURAL ANTHROPOLOGICAL ASPECTS OF ENGLISH AS A SECOND LANGUAGE.
RUBEL, ARTHUR J.
THE SOCIAL SYMBOLISM OF ENGLISH AS A SECOND LANGUAGE FOR MEXICAN-AMERICANS WAS DISCUSSED AT A SYMPOSIUM. THE CULTURAL FACTORS RELATED TO THIS SYMBOLISM WERE OBSERVED BY THE AUTHOR IN THE COURSE OF CONDUCTING TWO DIFFERENT ANTHROPOLOGICAL STUDIES OF THE SOCIAL LIFE OF AMERICANS OF MEXICAN DESCENT IN SOUTH TEXAS. THE RESULTS OF THESE STUDIES WERE ALSO RELATED TO A STUDY OF THE MEXICAN-AMERICAN COMMUNITY OF TUCSON. POPULATION GROWTHS OF BOTH MEXICANS AND ANGLOS IN THE TWO AREAS WERE OBSERVED TO BE COMPARABLE. THE ANGLOS WERE PRINCIPALLY OF MIDDLE- AND UPPER-CLASS BACKGROUNDS AND ECONOMICALLY SUCCESSFUL, WHILE MOST OF THE MEXICANS WERE UNSKILLED, UNDEREDUCATED, POVERTY-STRIKEN IMMIGRANTS FROM RURAL MEXICO. THE AUTHOR ASSERTS THAT THE SOCIAL IDEOLOGY GUIDING INTERGROUP RELATIONS IN THE SOUTHWEST AFFIRMS THIS TO BE AN OPEN-CLASS SOCIETY IN WHICH SPANISH-SPEAKING AMERICANS FORM AS MUCH A PART AS THE ANGLOS. IN CONTRAST, MEXICAN-AMERICANS MUST ACQUIRE ANGLO TRAITS OF BEHAVIOR TO BETTER THEIR WELFARE AND SOCIAL STATUS. IN THIS SITUATION, THE MEXICAN AMERICANS ACCEPT THE NEED TO ACQUIRE ENGLISH-LANGUAGE SKILLS, BUT SEE NO ADVANTAGE IN ADOPTING OTHER ANGLO CULTURAL TRAITS. THEY REGARD THOSE WHO GIVE UP SPANISH AS TURNING THEIR BACKS ON THEIR PEOPLE. THEY SEE THE PROHIBITION OF THE USE OF SPANISH ON THE SCHOOL GROUNDS AS DEGRADING THEIR ENTIRE TRADITIONAL WAY OF LIFE. THE RETENTION OF SPANISH IDENTIFIES A SEPARATE CULTURAL GROUP, WHILE THE USE OF ENGLISH LESSENS THE IDENTIFICATION OF THESE PEOPLE WITH MEXICO AND THEIR MEXICAN CULTURAL HERITAGE. (AL)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Texas (Austin)