Latinos are the fastest growing population group in the U.S. and have exerted widespread influence in numerous aspects of American culture from entertainment to economics. Unlike Asian, black, white, and Native Americans who are defined by race, Latinos can be of any race and are beginning to shed new light on the meanings and political implications of race. As the Latino population grows, how will Latinos come to define themselves racially given the long standing social order of black and white? What are the political implications of their chosen racial identities? How does Latinos’ racial identity influence their political behavior and motivation for participation?
The Politics of Race in Latino Communities is an innovative examination of development and political consequences of Latino racial identity in the U.S. Drawing on a national political survey of Latinos and focus group interviews, the book shows that development of Latino racial identity is a complex interaction between primordial ties, institutional practices, individual characteristics, and social interactions. Furthermore, the book highlights the political relevance of identity, showing that racial identity has meaningful consequences for the political attitudes, opinions, and behaviors of Latinos. An important piece of research propelling new discussions and insights into Latino politics.