Date of Award

1-1-2009

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department

Political Science

First Advisor

Burnside, Randolph

Abstract

Although scholars have begun to identify individual level predictors of panethnic group consciousness, we still do not have a full understanding of how it develops among Latinos (Padilla1985; Masuoka, 2006, 2008). This study seeks to add to the literature by determining if contextual factors affect panethnic group consciousness. Does the presence of many different Latino country of origin groups affect the development of Latino group consciousness? Relying on previously literature on intergroup relations, I argue that Latino intra-group diversity will lead to two possible outcomes. First, as Latinos of different country of origins subgroups come into more frequent contact this will have a positive effect on panethnic group consciousness because individuals would have developed shared experiences. An alternative possibility is that dominant subgroups (Mexican, Cubans and Puerto Ricans) will react negatively to an increase in out-subgroups due to perceived threat. This in turn would undermine Latino group consciousness. The 2006 Latino National Survey and the 2005-2007 American Community Survey were used to test the proposed relationship between context and group consciousness. Findings suggest that contextual factors do have an effect on group consciousness but only for certain components and country of origin groups.

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