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The Role of Group Consciousness in Latino Political Behavior

by Sanchez, Gabriel.

Abstract (Summary)
This dissertation explores the role of group consciousness in the political life of Latinos in the United States. This dissertation provides a full analysis of group consciousness presence and performance among Latinos. In separate analyses, I test the impact of group consciousness across several areas of Latino political activity, including; political participation, partisanship, policy preferences, and the propensity to engage in coalitions with African Americans relative to other more dominant explanations of Latino political behavior. In addition to the role of group consciousness in Latino political behavior, I am also interested in determining the factors that contribute to group consciousness for Latinos. Therefore, chapter six is dedicated to discussing how group consciousness is formulated among Latinos. Ultimately I examine not only how group consciousness motivates Latino political behavior, but also how group consciousness is created for Latinos. Group consciousness has been suggested to be a multidimensional concept, consisting of the following dimensions; group identity, perceived discrimination, and support for collective activity. This dissertation improves on existing research focused on group consciousness by including measures for all three of these dimensions. This analysis provides evidence that these dimensions are not cumulative and are independent from one another. This finding has implications for how group consciousness should be measured in the future. Further, experiencing discrimination and participating in political activities directly tied to the Latino community contribute to group consciousness for Latinos. 10 I also find that there is a meaningful relationship, although a somewhat limited one between group consciousness and the aspects of Latino political behavior discussed in the dissertation. Further, of the three dominant dimensions of group consciousness, perceived discrimination proved to have the greatest influence across the various aspects of Latino political behavior explored in the dissertation. The dissertation suggests that group consciousness does indeed help explain some of the uniqueness found in Latino political behavior. 11
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School:The University of Arizona

School Location:USA - Arizona

Source Type:Master's Thesis

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