Department or Program



Sociological literature has well documented patterns of workplace discrimination against racialized identities. This thesis analyzes a specific pattern of perceived workplace discrimination against those who are non-white, have African accents, and lack English language proficiency in the Lewiston-Auburn area (L/A). To understand this problem, a community-based research semi-structured interview about barriers to accessing the L/A workforce was conducted. I argue that utilizing Rosa’s and Flores’ raciolinguistic perspective, workers perceived to have African accents and English language barriers face workplace discrimination within the intersection of their race and linguistic identity. Those with perceived African accents are seen to be a L/A area archetype of African refugees and migrants which I call ‘a forever migrant,’ being assumed to have little education, job skills, intelligence, and trustworthiness within the workplace. Meanwhile, non-white individuals perceived to have English language barriers are believed to be unemployable no matter the importance of English language skills in the job they are applying for, being sometimes seen as a burden to employers. These patterns of linguistic discrimination are found to proliferate in part because those with perceived African accents and English language barriers assume responsibility to be a ‘good neoliberal citizen,’ through personally attempting to rid of their accent or language barrier. This allows white supremacy to proliferate in the L/A workplace, giving those perceived to have African accents and English language barriers an ultimatum to either assimilate to whiteness by ridding of their accent and native language or be subjected to linguistic discrimination by their employer.

Level of Access

Open Access

First Advisor

Medford, Marcelle

Date of Graduation


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Number of Pages


Components of Thesis

1 pdf file

Community Engagement


Open Access

Available to all.