Unveiling the veiled and veiling the unveiled: revealing the underlying linguistic ideologies and their impact on Persian language loss and maintenance among second-generation Iranian-American college students

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Publication Type dissertation
School or College College of Education
Department Education, Culture & Society
Author Ramezanzadeh, Farah S.
Title Unveiling the veiled and veiling the unveiled: revealing the underlying linguistic ideologies and their impact on Persian language loss and maintenance among second-generation Iranian-American college students
Date 2010-08
Description This study adopted an interpretive/qualitative methodology to explore the issues and challenges of developing and maintaining Persian/Farsi as a heritage language in homes and neighborhoods for second-generation Iranian-American youth living in a major US metropolitan area with a sizable concentration of Iranian immigrants. The purpose of the research was to analyze the interplay of various socio-psychological and socio-institutional/political factors, which affected the relationship between a majority/minority language and culture in a geographically multilingual/multicultural setting, by relating them to learners‘ linguistic experiences. The findings were based on data collected through three semistructured interviews with 22 second-generation Iranian-American college students residing in the states of New York and New Jersey. The research showed that the choice to maintain Persian was not necessarily easy, nor was it straightforward; it was further complicated given the underlying linguistic ideologies and the status and power relations between majority/minority languages in the US, specifically when an ethnic group, language, and/or culture was vilified and negatively represented. The research showed that for Iranian-American second-generation, the process of identification with Iran was especially complex when their country of origin was so very Othered. Politically, religiously and ethnically, these young people were up against powerful forces from both worlds that made identification with Iran and Persian language a special challenge. For these reasons, they found it necessary to strategically align themselves with different aspects of their identity at different times and spaces, depending on their audience and the effect they hoped to achieve. I looked at the process of Othering through the lens of world-as-real constructed by contemporary Orientalism and demonstrated how negative representations of Iranians affect Iranian-American students‘ decisions on which aspects of their identities to perform, including whether to speak Farsi at home or in public. While the research showed that second-generation heritage language loss is a grim reality complicated by major obstacles for the Farsi-speaking population in America, this researcher hopes that by unveiling some firsthand stories of the people whom this phenomenon affects, she has sowed some fresh ideas in the minds of researchers and policy makers who can take action to stanch the bleeding.
Type Text
Publisher University of Utah
Subject Iranian-American; Language; Language loss; Language maintenance; Persian-American
Dissertation Institution University of Utah
Dissertation Name Doctor of Philosophy
Language eng
Rights Management Copyright © Farah S. Ramezanzadeh 2010
Format Medium application/pdf
Format Extent 1,267,737 bytes
Source original in Marriott Library Special Collections ; PK3.5 2010 .R35
ARK ark:/87278/s69c7c43
Setname ir_etd
Date Created 2012-04-24
Date Modified 2017-12-21
ID 194438
Reference URL https://collections.lib.utah.edu/ark:/87278/s69c7c43