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The Question of Latino Participation: From an SES to a Social Structural Explanation

Natasha Hritzuk and David K. Park
Social Science Quarterly
Vol. 81, No. 1, HISPANICS IN AMERICA AT 2000 (March 2000), pp. 151-166
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/42864373
Page Count: 16
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The Question of Latino Participation: From an SES to a Social Structural Explanation
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Abstract

Objective. This research has two objectives: to construct a model incorporating factors other than those relating to SES, focusing on variables influencing Latino political participation, thereby helping to ascertain the distinctiveness of Latino activity, and to examine participatory acts beyond voting. Methods. We create a social structural model, predicting that Latinos' social context may increase their opportunities for political participation. Using data from a new survey, we estimate our social structural model employing an ordered probit methodolgy. Results. (1) Social structural variables including integration into politically active social networks, exposure to mobilization, and organizational affiliation increase the likelihood Latinos will participate; (2) after including into the model variables measuring attachment to native country, the social structural variables remain significant; (3) the variables underlying Latino political activity are distinct from those explaining black and white participation. Conclusions. Latinos' social milieu acts as a critical context for socialization, information dissemination, and mobilization, thereby providing some requisite resources central to facilitating participation.

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