Theses Bachelor's

Mechanisms of Political Socialization: The Development of Political Identities Among First and Second-Generation Latinx Immigrant Americans

Ramirez, Jose

Our modern understanding of when and how political socialization, the process all individuals go through to develop their political beliefs and ideologies, is generally limited to a specific time frame and directionality: adolescence and from parent to child. While a growing body of research presents opposing theories to this structure, few have tried to identify these alternative mechanisms by looking at a specific population. This research explores, identifies, and assesses how Latinx immigrants living in the United States acquire their political identity and how that process might differ for first and second-generation Americans through a case study approach. By conducting interviews with three pairs of Latinx immigrant Americans, we find that immigrant individuals are likely to experience a more complex socialization process. First-generation Latinx Americans typically develop their political identity later in life, often with the help of their children. While traditional factors like time spent in the U.S., level of education, and English language proficiency are all meaningful influences on political socialization, this research takes advantage of its interviews by focusing on nonquantifiable variables such as family dynamics, individual trust, and respect. For Latinx immigrants, these factors are significant determinants of the political identity of their families because they face unique challenges that encourage parents to trust and respect their children when it comes to American politics.

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More About This Work

Academic Units
Political Science
Thesis Advisors
Velez, Yamil R.
B.A., Columbia University
Published Here
May 3, 2022


Political Science undergraduate honors thesis, completed April 1, 2022. The faculty advisor was Yamil Velez, Ph.D., the seminar instructor was Macartan Humphreys, Ph.D., and the seminar preceptor was Zara Riaz.