Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in English Composition



First Reader/Committee Chair

Karen Rowan


This thesis examines how standard language ideologies are perpetuated in the five most frequently assigned first year composition textbooks from four higher education institutions in Southern California’s Inland Empire. Standard language ideologies position one variation of a language as superior, correct, appropriate and the normal variation of a language which everyone should be able to speak. Using Critical Discourse Analysis, the five textbooks were analyzed in order to uncover the embedded power and hegemony over women, people of color, and those from a lower socioeconomic status which are prevalent throughout society because they are unchallenged and widely accepted as the status quo. Linguistic discrimination, which is perpetuated within all of academia and throughout society, creates institutions which privilege those who use Standard English and labels speakers of nonstandard dialects as not belonging in academia because non-standard variations of English are considered inferior, incorrect and inappropriate. Although three of the texts analyzed did acknowledge linguistic diversity, all five texts positioned Standard English as the norm, correct, appropriate and superior to other dialects because it is associated with education, competence and clarity which show that Composition’s pedagogical materials are falling short.