¡Échale ganas, mija!: How Latina Immigrant Mothers Use Word Choice to Assert Their Expectations

Catherine Guzman, Joan Kim, Kiara Mares, Yadira Marquez, Flor Ramirez

College enrollment and graduation rate from Latinos has increased during the last decade. Latinas[1] went from being 17% of graduates in 2000 to 30% in 2017. Latina mothers have played an important role in the success of Latinas by either providing motivation or pressuring them. Latina daughters may also face more pressure to understand the role that family dynamics and cultural roles play in their education and professional life, and it is our goal to show what factors influence the expectations of immigrant Latina mothers as well as how they communicate this to their children. We analyze word choice such as pauses and filler words, positive and negative word connotation, achievement remarks and associations, and levels of details to understand what factors influence what is expected of Latina daughters. Through the analysis of interviews of two Latina mothers with their older and younger daughters, we expect to find a positive correlation between the different levels of educational expectations based on birth order and expect the older daughter to have more responsibility and expectations of success.

Figure 1: Educated Latina Art Print from oayon1313

[1] Latina: a woman or girl of Latin American origin or descent

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