Latinos and Racial Identification

Sonya Tafoya, Pew Hispanic Center

Large-scale immigration over the past three decades has led to a strong interest in the processes associated with immigrant economic incorporation. While traditional models of assimilation assume an upward trajectory resulting in full incorporation for the descendents of immigrants, the "segmented assimilation model" adds an alternative trajectory of downward mobility. In this view, children of immigrants exposed to declining inner-city environments and who are regarded as non-white risk incorporation into an urban non-white underclass. Fundamental to the "segmented assimilation" idea, is the supposition that immigrants can be divided into white and non-white groups. In this context Latinos constitute a unique group in that nationwide roughly half identify as racially white and 47 percent identify as "some other race." Rather than comparing the trajectories of European immigrants with non-European immigrants, this paper compares Latinos who identify as white with those who identify as "some other race."

  See paper

Presented in Session 59: Latinos and Race