Are Latinos Becoming White? The Role of White Self-Categorization and White Identity in Shaping Contemporary Hispanic Political and Policy Preferences
47 Pages Posted: 10 Jun 2020
Date Written: May 16, 2020
Census data show that a majority of Hispanics self-categorize as white and a substantial proportion express attachment to white identity. Sociologists suggest that such selections are an artifact of the Census, not psychologically nor politically consequential. This study draws on history, sociology and recent advances in the study of white identity among Anglos, to develop an argument for why Hispanics show attachment to whiteness and what may be the implications of such identity choices for Hispanics’ political and policy preferences. First, we specify descriptive demographic analyses to predict white self-categorization and white identity among Hispanics. Second, using the 2012 ANES data, we show that attachment to white identity is an important predictor of partisanship, ideology and welfare policy preferences, while there is some evidence that white self-categorization, but not white identity, positively correlates with restrictive immigration policy preferences.
Keywords: Latinos, whiteness, white identity, partisanship
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