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A Structural Equation Model of Support for English-only Policies and Social Limitation of Immigrants and Minorities
Unformatted Document Text:  Social Limitation Structural Equation Model 6 English-only issue (and related initiatives) can be explained by vitality theory, discussed next. Vitality Theory Based on perceptions of changes taking place in relation to other ethnic or language groups, vitality theory suggests that English-only policies represent strategies undertaken by the dominant Anglo-American majority to maintain the status quo in language and social status. The concept of ethnolinguistic vitality (Giles, Bourhis, & Taylor, 1977) provides the means to investigate socio-structural factors affecting the strength of language groups within diverse group settings, and their language maintenance, or extinction. The level of an ingroup’s vitality contributes to the extent to which it behaves as a distinct collective. A language group with high vitality is more likely to survive and flourish as a collective entity in an intergroup context. By contrast, groups with low vitality are likely to disappear as discrete linguistic entities in intergroup settings. Language becomes a focal point for dissent when dominant groups feel a sense of insecurity due to the perceived increase in the vitality of other ethnic and social groups. Vitality can be assessed objectively and subjectively (for a review of empirical studies examining objective and subjective vitality, see Harwood, Giles, & Bourhis., 1994). Vitality theory holds that structural factors, including the demographic salience, status and institutional control of language groups, provide potential indicators of objective linguistic vitality. Demographic salience is the number of members comprising a language group, their distribution or concentration throughout a community or nation, the birth rate and immigration patterns of language groups vis-à-vis the dominant group

Authors: Barker, Valerie. and Giles, Howard.
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Social Limitation Structural Equation Model 6
English-only issue (and related initiatives) can be explained by vitality theory, discussed
next.
Vitality Theory
Based on perceptions of changes taking place in relation to other ethnic or
language groups, vitality theory suggests that English-only policies represent strategies
undertaken by the dominant Anglo-American majority to maintain the status quo in
language and social status. The concept of ethnolinguistic vitality (Giles, Bourhis, &
Taylor, 1977) provides the means to investigate socio-structural factors affecting the
strength of language groups within diverse group settings, and their language
maintenance, or extinction. The level of an ingroup’s vitality contributes to the extent to
which it behaves as a distinct collective. A language group with high vitality is more
likely to survive and flourish as a collective entity in an intergroup context. By contrast,
groups with low vitality are likely to disappear as discrete linguistic entities in intergroup
settings. Language becomes a focal point for dissent when dominant groups feel a
sense of insecurity due to the perceived increase in the vitality of other ethnic and social
groups.
Vitality can be assessed objectively and subjectively (for a review of empirical
studies examining objective and subjective vitality, see Harwood, Giles, & Bourhis.,
1994). Vitality theory holds that structural factors, including the demographic salience,
status and institutional control of language groups, provide potential indicators of
objective linguistic vitality. Demographic salience is the number of members comprising
a language group, their distribution or concentration throughout a community or nation,
the birth rate and immigration patterns of language groups vis-à-vis the dominant group


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