Mother's social network and family language maintenance

Isabel Velázquez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


This article reports the results of a social network analysis (SNA) performed on the mother's primary network of interaction in 15 Mexican American families in the city of El Paso, Texas, the neighbourhood of La Villita, in Chicago, and the city of Lincoln, Nebraska. The goal of this study was to examine potential opportunities for Spanish use by her children as well as sources of information and influence that might shape her views about the benefits and drawbacks of linguistic maintenance in her family. The network features of primary language of exchange, density, strength of ties, level of integration to local, regional and transnational networks and gender segregation were examined. Results suggest that in these families Spanish transmission is influenced by mother's perception of benefit/cost, mother's participation in networks where Spanish is vested with social capital, and mother's linguistic competence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)189-202
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2013


  • Mexican American families
  • Spanish
  • language maintenance
  • social networks

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Education
  • Linguistics and Language


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