Date of Degree
International Migration Studies
Arts and Humanities
In this globalizing world, bilingualism is increasingly being treated as a commodity, another skill to put on a resume that will increase one’s chances of landing a lucrative job. However, in the case of Spanish, which is wrapped up in prevailing anti-immigrant and anti-Latinx sentiments and thus increasingly devalued, this is hardly the case: People who speak Spanish rarely receive additional compensation for possessing such language skills. Prior research has been conducted on resumes and interviews as sites of discrimination in the job market, but this study turns to the beginning of process, job advertisements. Specifically, it draws on a point-in-time analysis of job ads in New York City, which mention Spanish and were posted on the website LinkedIn on September 8th, 2019 (n = 95). The data show three notable patterns: Job ads often do not require Spanish skills despite having “bilingual” as a keyword in the ad, monetary compensation is rarely mentioned, and language skills are often mentioned in ways that promote language hierarchies. Considering this, I conclude by arguing that Spanish is a skill that loses value in the U.S. market because of the social stigma correlated to speaking Spanish, contributing further to the marginalization of Latinx immigrant communities.
Hernandez, Guadalupe R., "The Language of Exploitation:
A Sociolinguistic Analysis of How Employers Use Bilingualism in New York City Job Ads" (2020). CUNY Academic Works.