Date of Degree

6-2014

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A.

Program

Liberal Studies

Advisor(s)

Mehdi Bozorgmehr

Subject Categories

Anthropological Linguistics and Sociolinguistics | Sociology

Abstract

As a relatively new, highly educated and professional group, Iranian Americans show distinctive language usage patterns. Using data from the American Community Survey (ACS) and 48 interviews with East Coast Iranian Americans, this thesis explores the attitudes and behavior of children of Iranian immigrants and their parents toward learning and preserving their native language: Persian. Although the literature points to the erosion of parental language among the second generation and its extinction by the third generation, the results of this study suggest otherwise, at least for young children. Findings show that parents and children had positive attitude and behavior toward the preservation of Persian. As transnational families, parents have created a tool kit to ensure that Persian will persist at least through the second generation. Keeping transnational ties, attending weekly cultural and religious events, providing Persian instruction, and controlling over the children's language use at home were among the most important mechanisms of ethnic language maintenance.

 
 

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