Spanish not spoken here: Accounting for the racialization of the Spanish language in the experiences of Mexican migrants in the United States Academic Article uri icon


  • For Spanish-speaking Latinos in the United States, the Spanish language is a component of identity that is often viewed as fundamental to their human experience. This deep connection between language and identity becomes problematic as a result of what we suggest in this paper is a deeply racialized attack on the use of the Spanish language. Drawing upon ethnographic and qualitative in-depth interview research with first-generation Mexican migrants in the US, we bring together the literatures on race and ethnicity to facilitate a more nuanced understanding of the ethnic and racialized processes involved in reaction to and treatment of the use of Spanish in the US. Centering the voices and experiences of first-generation migrants, we are able to explicate their experiences with respect to intersecting mechanisms of ethnocentrism, language oppression, and racism.

published proceedings

  • Ethnicities

author list (cited authors)

  • Davis, T. Y., & Moore, W. L.

citation count

  • 16

complete list of authors

  • Davis, Tiffany Y||Moore, Wendy Leo

publication date

  • October 2014