Identity Politics and the Latino vs. Hispanic Debate: A Data-Driven Learning Guide
Goal & Concept
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.
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.
Examples of possible research questions on identity politics and the Latino vs. Hispanic debate:
- Is there a difference in the approval of the president from those of Spanish or Latin heritage by their cultural identity?
- Does the cultural identity of those of Spanish/Latin heritage relate to partisanship?
- Does vote choice by those of Spanish/Latin heritage differ by cultural identity?
- Does cultural identity relate to support for liberal social policies?
CITATION: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research. Identity Politics and the Latino vs. Hispanic Debate: A Data-Driven Learning Guide. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2009-04-16. Doi:10.3886/identitypol
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