Date of Graduation

7-2021

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Political Science (MA)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

Political Science

Advisor

Xavier Medina Vidal

Committee Member

Najja K. Baptist

Second Committee Member

Patrick Stewart

Keywords

social identity, family intimacy theory, social identity theory, Nuevo South, migrants, transnational, southern identity

Abstract

As Latinos have migrated at high rates to the U.S. South in the late 20th and early 21st centuries, the region has become known as a “new immigrant destination” and the “Nuevo South” yet political science research documenting the dynamics of Latino identity in the Nuevo South has been scarce. In this thesis I seek to understand the roles of Latino panethnic, U.S. (American) and Southern identity on factors informing the development of Latino community building. I use the 2016 Blair Center Poll to test social identity and family intimacy theories through a quantitative analysis of the effects of attachment to Latino/Hispanic panethnic, American, and Southern identity on Southern Latinos’ attitudes toward family intimacy and community voluntarism. I find that (1) Southern and non-Southern Latinos are similar in terms of linking their panethnic and American identity attachments to these factors of Latino community building, and that (2) Southern identity attachment plays an extraordinary role in shaping Southern Latinos’ positive attitudes toward community volunteerism.

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