Degree Year

2012

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

Anthropology

Advisor(s)

Jason Haugen

Keywords

Spanish, Maya, Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico, Guatemala, Language ideologies, Code choice, Ethnolinguistic identity

Abstract

This paper explores language ideologies, code choice, and ethnolinguistic identity in Maya-dominated areas of Mexico and Guatemala. As the Maya, or Pan-Maya, Movement has grown in scope and force since the 1980s, particularly in Guatemala, possessing a "Maya" identity has become defined in new ways. Since Mayan languages are still spoken with a strong degree of vitality in Mexico's Yucatan peninsula and the western highlands of Guatemala, examining Maya identity through beliefs about, and use of, indigenous languages and Spanish is a particularly useful focus. In comparing Maya peoples' beliefs and identities in each of these regions, this paper argues that Maya identity is highly dependent on the historical, political, and cultural context in which it exists.

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Anthropology Commons

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