Journal of the Indiana Academy of the Social Sciences

Document Type



The region of Northwest Indiana is home to many thousands of Latinos, and this dynamic group has a long history in the area. As a group, issues relating to Latinos are well researched; however, primary investigations involving youth from the community are few. Influenced by the surrounding host and heritage cultures, young Latinos find themselves in a unique yet conflicting position as they navigate the parameters of both of these paradigms. This paper examines identity and language use amongst young Latinos in Northwest Indiana, and data are presented from a sociolinguistic intervention undertaken with 310 young Latinos from this region. Upon analysis of data collected from this field study, it was found that these youth possess multiple identities that cannot be deconstructed and reconfigured into a single set category. Moreover, linguistic shift toward English is occurring, with noteworthy gender distinctions on that topic and concerning how young Latinos identify themselves.