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1. Does the category of Latino really exist? Is there a set of common characteristics or interests across the Latino population? If not, how do we disaggregate the population into more relevant categories?
- Cristina Beltran
- Lisa Garcia Bedolla
- Angel Saavedra Cisneros
- https://searchworks.stanford.edu/view/8579597 (Chapter 3)
Thought from Michael Jones-Correa:
“Groups are social constructions, and what we call a group is largely up to the group itself. Latinos/as as a group exist inasmuch as they themselves believe it to exist and/or other social groups believe it to exist. There is a long and rich literature in the social sciences on the construction of group identities (I find Barth and Tajfel most helpful here), and on Latina/o identity in particular (see Nobles "Shades of Citizenship" (2000) and Mora "Making Hispanics" (2014), among many others, including work by myself and co-authors). There’s a different question, which is are Latinx a useful group analytically, and for what purposes? Latinx can be used to describe people with ancestry in Latin America. This label is descriptive, but we are interested in it as social scientists because it is useful analytically. The question of what to call this group is partly “what does this group call itself” (to be useful analytically the name has to reflect usage), but there may be a second part to this question, which is “how do we, academics, want to refer to this group” which reflects concerns about inclusivity, etc.
2. What should we call this group? What is the status of the Latinx/Latine discussion and where might we end up?
- Geraldo Casava
- Ben Francis-Fallon
- Jaime Sanchez
- Gutiérrez, Ramón A. “What’s in a Name? The History and Politics of Hispanic and Latino Panethnic Identities.” In The New Latino Studies Reader: A Twenty-First-Century Perspective, edited by Ramón Gutiérrez and Tomás Almaguer, 19-54. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2016.
- Noe-Bustamante, Luis, Lauren Mora, and Mark Hugo Lopez. "About one-in-four US Hispanics have heard of Latinx, but just 3% use it." Pew Research Center 11 (2020). https://www.pewresearch.org/hispanic/wp-content/uploads/sites/5/2020/08/PHGMD_2020.08.11_Latinx_FINAL.pdf
- Salinas, Cristobal, and Adele Lozano. "The History and Evolution of the term Latinx." In Handbook of Latinos and Education, 249-263. Routledge, 2021. https://www.taylorfrancis.com/chapters/edit/10.4324/9780429292026-24/history-evolution-term-latinx-cristobal-salinas-adele-lozano
3. Latinos in politics: why also the “ethnic group of tomorrow”? Who do Latinos vote for and where? What about political strategies?
- Marques Zarate
- Geraldo Cadava
Thoughts from Michael Jones-Correa:
There’s a lot of wishful thinking among particularly Latino/an academics about the direction and coherence of Latinx as a voting bloc. Latinx academics generally think of themselves, and of other Latinx, as being generally progressive. But this isn’t to be assumed or taken for granted, and the last couple of election cycles have reminded us that about a third of Latinx have historically voted Republican (and do so today), and that like any social group, their political views may change over time. Again, like any large, heterogenous social group, there are a lot of cross-currents among Latinx politically. Does this mean it’s less useful to think of them as a group? Heterogeneity isn’t really the issue; we are comfortable, for example, thinking of “whites” as a a group, and it’s even more heterogenous. The usefulness of Latinos (and Asian Americans) as social groups in American politics is that their position “in between” blacks and whites is both important politically in and of itself, but also raises a set of important analytical questions. Among them:
- how we think about “American” identity — as belonging to those who are US born, English speaking, and/or white?
- how we think about ethnicity vs race — race is central to American politics: how do indigenous and multi-racial identities fit in American racial schemas?
- how we think about political socialization— how people learn about politics is more complicated among immigrant and immigrant-adjacent citizens than among the native born.
- the importance of legal status: legal status is central to many immigrants’ lives —both for themselves and family— but it’s not on the radar of most scholars of American politics.
- how we think about generation and cohort/period effects— there’s still a lot of confusion in both the study of American politics and in the study of Latinx between general and cohort/period effects. When scholars of US politics talk about “generation” they really mean “cohort”: e.g. the group that came of age during a certain period. Latinx scholars use generation to talk about distance from the country of origin: 1st generation is born in the US, 2nd generation born in the US of US born parents, etc. But Latinx experience *both* generational *and* cohort effects (age and stage in the life cycle are also important) politically. Immigration continues to be a central experience for many Latinx — but increasingly less so.
- how we think about the overlap of religion and politics, and how this intersects with race/ethnicity: e.g. evangelical Latinos vs evangelical whites.
4. What is the economic status of Latinos and specific populations?
- Andrew Sandoval-Strausz
5. Health and education---how are Latinos doing?
- Cesar Daniel Vargas Nunez
- URM Faculty in Elite Institutions (Centeno et al).
6. Issues of inequality/equity. For example, how are relations between documented and undocumented populations?
- Nadia Flores
- Andrew Sandolval Strausz
- Nicole Kreisberg
- Ana Oaxaca
- Flores-Yeffal, N. Y. (2019). English proficiency and trust networks among undocumented Mexican migrants. The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 684(1), 105-119.
- Lopez, M. H., J. Passel and D Cohn. 2021. "Key facts about the changing U.S. unauthorized immigrant population" The Pew Hispanic Center. URL: Key facts about the U.S. unauthorized immigrant population | Pew Research Center
- Romero Morales, A., & Consoli, A. J. (2020). Mexican/Mexican-American siblings: The impact of undocumented status on the family, the sibling relationship, and the self. Journal of Latinx Psychology, 8(2), 112.
- Why Don’t Immigrants Apply for Citizenship?: There Is No Line for Many Undocumented Immigrants. American Immigration Council. https://www.americanimmigrationcouncil.org/research/why-don’t-they-just-get-line
7. An agenda for future research?
- Cristina Mora
- Angel Escamilla Garcia
Thought from Michael Jones Correa:
The above points also set out a research agenda, of sorts. I would add to these: we have very few studies that really study the universe of Latinx. By this I mean that most studies are “opt-in” studies: they ask people whether they identify as Latinx, and then proceed from there. Analytically, however, for social scientists it would be more useful to know who shares *ancestry* (everyone from Latin America) and then, among that group, see who *identifies* as Latinx (and who doesn’t) and why (or why not), and who *acts* similarly to others in the group, politically or otherwise. It would be very helpful to know more about who “is” Latinx but doesn’t identify as such, and who identifies as Latinx but acts differently from others in the social group.
Thought from Cristina Mora
I also really, really would LOVE to see a discussion on the future of Latino Studies and Latino Social Science Scholarship. I've just created a new dataset that shows the rise and relative stagnation of Latino Studies programs compared to Af Am, Ethnic Studies and Asian Am studies across the country. You will see, for example, that since 2010 over 50% of new Latino Studies programs have been built with 0 or 1 new FTE lines (0 lines indicated depts/programs led by lecturers). And while Public schools took the early lead on establishing Latino Studies, it has been Private schools that have come with significantly more depts since 2000. However, this has come with an important change in programmatic/Dept . I'd really love to share this data with others as it speaks volumes as to the future of the field and questions about further funding of Latino Scholarship. This could fit into the Futures Panel which I'm happy to help facilitate. Happy to do a presentation on this new data. If you need some information on this new research beforehand I could put together a slide deck on the findings and circulate them beforehand.
- Department of Sociology
- Center for the Study of Democratic Politics (CSDP)