Identity Politics and the Latino vs. Hispanic Debate: A Data-Driven Learning Guide Go to Resource


Though often used interchangeably in American English, Hispanic and Latino are not identical terms, and in certain contexts the choice between them can be significant. In recent years the distinction has created a sociopolitical rift because for a certain segment of the Spanish-speaking population, Latino is a term of ethnic pride and Hispanic a label that borders on the offensive. According to this view, Hispanic lacks the authenticity and cultural resonance of Latino, with its Spanish sound and its ability to show the feminine form Latina when used of women. Furthermore, Hispanic, the term used by the U.S. Census Bureau and other government agencies, is said to bear the stamp of an Anglo establishment far removed from the concerns of the Spanish-speaking community. While these views are strongly held by some, they are by no means universal, and with Latino widely preferred in some regions while Hispanic is the usual term in other regions, the division in usage seems as related to geography as it is to politics.

The goal of this exercise is to examine the relationship between cultural identities and partisanship, vote choice, and liberal social policies. Crosstabulation, frequencies, and charts will be used.

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Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research
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