Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Dr. Joe Noe

Second Advisor

Dr. Lyon Rathbun

Third Advisor

Dr. Maggie Shelledy


This thesis seeks to analyze and understand common social and political perspectives with regard to language in the United States at the beginning of the third decade of the new millenium. Providing supporting data points from my research along the way, I share different anecdotes and my interpretation of their significance. I explain how each of them added to my understanding of common American perceptions about language and its proper use in social and political settings. One of the more pertinent anecdotes described is an encounter with a Hispanic woman that openly discriminated against my use of Spanish at a political conference in Washington, D.C. My research combined with my personal experience allows me an incredibly unique vantage point from which to explore how education and legislation have molded American perspectives on foreign language.


Copyright 2020 Perla M. Lauderdale. All Rights Reserved.