December 6, 2004

Shades of Belonging

IX. Conclusions

The profile of SOR Hispanic detailed above describes a population composed of both native-born and immigrant members. While, Census data indicate that the gulf between SOR and white Hispanics is certainly not as wide as that between non-Hispanic whites and Hispanics, results consistently show that SOR Hispanics have a weaker economic mooring relative to white Hispanics. Although no specific difference may be overwhelming, the striking consistency in the pattern of differences is impressive. Furthermore, the NSL suggests that these aggregate differences translate into important differences with regard to partisan loyalties, political participation and perceptions about discrimination in America.

While some of these differences are surely driven by the relative proportion of American newcomers in each Hispanic race group. The NSL indicates that even among third generation Hispanics, those whose concepts of race were most likely to have been shaped exclusively in the United States, race differences are apparent. And, these differences appear to play a role in shaping attitudes and opinions. While the data presented indicate that SOR Hispanics have lower socioeconomic status, and that they are less politically engaged and more often feel discriminated against, what cannot be discerned is whether SOR Hispanics choose that identity because they possess these characteristics or if these characteristic lead Hispanics to the adopt the SOR label by Hispanics.