Date of Award

Spring 2017

Document Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

Spanish

First Advisor

Kristi Hislope

Abstract

This overview examines the usage of the term “Latinx” from its coinage to its inclusion in the Oxford English Dictionary’s top ten candidates for “Word of the Year” in 2016. The study evaluates the term’s future based on its projected use in certain geographical areas and its adoption by certain professions and niche social groups. The most common motives for usage include a desire to disrupt the social normative of a binary gender system, to acknowledge the intersectionality between the LGBTQ and Latino communities, and to battle the subjugation of non-gender conforming Hispanics. This work analyzes which professional arenas endorse “Latinx,” including journalism and academia, as well as which writing mediums espouse it most often. Those who advocate against “Latinx” cite the imposition of English onto Spanish, which does not morphologically accommodate a word-final “x.” This study analyzes whether the term more effectively addresses a social issue or delays the solution to one, as well as whether its goal is to take away majority privilege or to belabor an indiscriminate equality of all.

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