The Rise and Fall of Political Engagement among Latinos: The Role of Identity and Perceptions of Discrimination

The Rise and Fall of Political Engagement among Latinos: The Role of Identity and Perceptions of... This study analyzes how perceptions of discrimination against oneself and/or one’s group and whether one self-identifies in national (American), national origin, or panethnic terms affect levels of political engagement among Latinos in the United States. The findings show that perceptions of discrimination against oneself are particularly damaging in that they promote both behavioral and attitudinal alienation (e.g., non-voting and lack of trust), especially among Latinos who identify primarily as American. Behavioral alienation can be mitigated, and even overcome, when perceptions of discrimination are accompanied by a panethnic or national origin self-identification. However, the attitudinal alienation created by perceptions of discrimination is not mitigated by any type of self-identification. These findings shed light on understudied factors that affect political engagement that are going to become more important to understand as the American population continues its ethnic diversification. In addition to expanding our knowledge of political engagement generally, this study also raises important questions about whether the adoption of an American self-identification is in fact beneficial for the health of our participatory political system as a whole. Political Behavior Springer Journals

The Rise and Fall of Political Engagement among Latinos: The Role of Identity and Perceptions of Discrimination

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Kluwer Academic Publishers-Plenum Publishers
Copyright © 2005 by Springer Science+Business Media, Inc.
Political Science and International Relations; Political Science; Sociology, general
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