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Raciolinguistic Ideologies of Spanish Speakers in a California Child Welfare Court

Part of the Palgrave Studies in Minority Languages and Communities book series (PSMLC)

Abstract

This chapter demonstrates that metalinguistic communities can draw on language ideologies about non-group members to construct their own social identity. Drawing on data from an ethnographic study of parents and legal professionals in a California child welfare court, López-Espino argues that social workers, judges, and attorneys routinely use the category of “Spanish speakers” in ways that implicitly emphasize their own English-dominant language practices as standard and normative. Building on existing scholarship on raciolinguistic ideologies (Flores and Rosa 2015), López-Espino argues that legal professionals conflate being Spanish-dominant as indicative of lacking “sophistication,” lacking legal status, being passive, and having deficient cultural practices of child-rearing. The chapter concludes that the circulation of such raciolinguistic ideologies can negatively affect racialized and minoritized persons’ access to a fair and equitable legal experience.

  • Raciolinguistic ideologies
  • Latinx
  • Spanish speakers
  • Court professionals
  • Racialization

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López-Espino, J. (2021). Raciolinguistic Ideologies of Spanish Speakers in a California Child Welfare Court. In: Avineri, N., Harasta, J. (eds) Metalinguistic Communities. Palgrave Studies in Minority Languages and Communities. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-76900-0_10

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-76900-0_10

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