Foreign-Born and Native-Born Latinos Differ in Political Preferences and Perceptions
'Latino Community' encompasses varied groups
A new report based on data from the Blair-Rockefeller Poll reveals some of the political complexity of the varied groups lumped into the term “Latino community.” In “Latino Views Diverge Based on Nativity,” political scientist Rafael Jimeno looks particularly at the views held by Latinos born in the United States and by Latino immigrants.
“A close analysis of the responses given by Latinos reveals that a significant division exists between the native born and the foreign born, especially when it comes to policy preferences and perceptions of other groups in American society,” Jimeno wrote.
For example, the poll asked a series of questions related to whether Latinos see themselves having commonality with African Americans. Responses revealed clear differences between native-born and foreign-born Latinos.
To the question “Does what happens to Blacks have something to do with what happens in your life?” 63.1 percent of foreign-born Latinos responded “none or little” and 36.9 percent chose “some or a lot.” The responses were reversed with native-born Latinos, with 39.5 percent responding “none or little” and 63.6 percent “some or a lot.”
“Over the years, these negative predispositions are likely to recede as the foreign born learn about civil rights struggles, for example, both past and present,” Jimeno wrote.
Jimeno is the Diane D. Blair Professor of Latino Studies and an assistant professor of political science in the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Arkansas.
His report used data from the Blair-Rockefeller Poll, conducted in November 2010 by Knowledge Networks. The poll is a joint project of the university’s Diane D. Blair Center of Southern Politics and Society and the Winthrop Rockefeller Institute of the University of Arkansas System. The full report is available at http://www.blairrockefellerpoll.com.
The Blair-Rockefeller Poll was created by political scientists Todd Shields, Pearl Ford Dowe, Angie Maxwell and Rafael Jimeno of the Diane D. Blair Center of Southern Politics and Society at the University of Arkansas. With over 3,400 respondents, the poll has a national scope as well as ample sampling of such traditionally under-polled groups as African Americans and Latinos. Additionally, by addressing topics that have been little studied, the poll allows researchers to identify socio-cultural influences on political values throughout the country with an emphasis on the South. The Blair Center partners with the Winthrop Rockefeller Institute to produce the Blair-Rockefeller Poll.
The Diane D. Blair Center of Southern Politics and Society was established in 2001 by an act of the U.S. Congress and named in honor of political scientist Diane Divers Blair, who taught for 30 years in the Fulbright College. The center studies the American South from a variety of angles to reveal the undercurrents of politics, history and culture that have shaped the region over time. For more information about the Blair Center, visit blaircenter.uark.edu. In addition to directing the Blair Center, Shields is dean of the Graduate School and International Education at the University of Arkansas.
The University of Arkansas System established the Winthrop Rockefeller Institute in 2005 with a grant from the Winthrop Rockefeller Charitable Trust. Based on the legacy and ideas of former Arkansas Gov. Winthrop Rockefeller, this educational institute and conference center offers workshops, seminars, public lectures, conferences and special events. Program areas include agriculture and environment, arts and humanities, economic development, and policy and public affairs. For more information about the Winthrop Rockefeller Institute, visit LiveTheLegacy.org.
Rafael Jimeno, Diane D. Blair Professor of Latino Studies
J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences
Barbara Jaquish, science and research writer
University of Arkansas