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Everyday Experiences of Linguicism: A Sociological Critique of Linguistic Human Rights (LHRs)
  • Shinya Uekusa
This qualitative study explores how linguistic minorities in the U.S. experience linguicism in their everyday lives, how they negotiate linguicism, and how linguistic human rights (LHRs) can be used practically. I conducted in-depth interviews with fifteen Japanese, Castilian Spanish and Mexican Spanish speakers who reside in San Diego. Respondents tell of past experiences with linguicism and the ways internal and external forces such as economic prospects often encourage them to accept linguicism as a normal part of their everyday lives, demonstrating the presence of symbolic violence. The effect of the intersectionality of linguicism further contributes to the diversity and complexity of respondents’ experiences. The double dimensionality of linguicism is important to consider. However, respondents employed a variety of “resources” to negotiate, resist and sometimes challenge linguicism and symbolic violence. They avoided linguicism to the greatest extent possible but they also preserved a crucial part of their individual and collective identity and, in some cases, took advantage of their knowledge of both languages. Although acquiring English was perceived as a key tool to negotiate linguicism, respondents also demonstrated that they developed oppositional strategies, which could ultimately inform and improve LHRs. Respondents’ perception of the advantages and disadvantages of LHRs is a critical micro-level perspective that is currently missing from the sociological literature.
  • Sociology of Language,
  • Linguicism,
  • Linguistic Human Rights (LHRs),
  • Symbolic Violence,
  • Intersectionality,
  • Multilingualism
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Citation Information
Shinya Uekusa. "Everyday Experiences of Linguicism: A Sociological Critique of Linguistic Human Rights (LHRs)" (2009)
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