Between 1984 and 2010, the “English-only” movement successfully lobbied for legislation to make English the official language of 24 states and to restrict bilingual public education in three others. Using county-level data on voting outcomes in states that voted on anti-bilingual-education laws, I evaluate both class- and status-based explanations for movement support. I find support for the status-based power devaluation perspective — an alternative to the dominant theories of symbolic politics — and for a “new nativism” grounded in fiscal conservatism. Ironically, support for English-only legislation tends to be highest where immigrants are making the most gains in terms of language acquisition.
|Author||Kevin Anthony Estep|
|Contributor||Lyn Spillman, Committee Member|
|Contributor||Kraig Beyerlein, Committee Member|
|Contributor||Rory McVeigh, Committee Chair|
|Degree Level||Master's Thesis|
|Departments and Units|