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Latino Civic Organizing in Comparative Perspective: How Individual, Community and Contextual Determinants Shape Civic and Political Participation

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Abstract:

This paper reports on findings from the larger Immigrant Civic Engagement Project. The project includes focus group interviews with immigrant and native-born Californians, interviews with leaders and staff of a variety of non-profit and civic organizations, interviews with local officials and policy-makers in these communities, and analysis of newspaper coverage of immigrant communities. Here we report on preliminary findings for seven communities in the Silicon Valley (or South Bay) area. In particular, we compare and contrast the experience of the Mexican-American community (both immigrant and later generations) to those of the Indian, Vietnamese and Portuguese.

We argue that sensitivity to the immigrant experience is vital in understanding social and political capital, and that the barriers faced by foreign-born Latinos cannot just be reduced to individual skills and resources, though these are important. The recognition of the additional barriers of documentation status and recent migration are critical to understanding the Latino experience, especially in comparison to other groups.

Relative to other immigrant communities, it appears like Mexican immigrants have fewer civic and social service organizations. Though some argue that this difference reflects a lack of civic values and interest in politics on the part of Latinos; such perceptions increase the relative neglect of this community by local officials and policy-makers, reinforcing civic and political marginalization. This research finds that government support and mainstream outreach to immigrant communities is in fact critical in helping newcomers’ create civic organizations, and through them, building social, civic and political capital.

Most Common Document Word Stems:

communiti (104), immigr (91), organ (81), group (52), civic (50), social (42), polit (39), individu (36), mani (34), one (32), citi (31), also (29), local (29), resourc (28), capit (28), ethnic (27), particip (27), status (25), state (24), english (24), american (23),

Author's Keywords:

immigrants, civic and political participation, social capital, political capital, community organizations, non-profits
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Name: American Sociological Association
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http://www.asanet.org


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URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p103732_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Gleeson, Shannon., Bloemraad, Irene. and Ramakrishnan, S.. "Latino Civic Organizing in Comparative Perspective: How Individual, Community and Contextual Determinants Shape Civic and Political Participation" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association, Montreal Convention Center, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, Aug 11, 2006 <Not Available>. 2017-01-23 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p103732_index.html>

APA Citation:

Gleeson, S. M., Bloemraad, I. H. and Ramakrishnan, S. K. , 2006-08-11 "Latino Civic Organizing in Comparative Perspective: How Individual, Community and Contextual Determinants Shape Civic and Political Participation" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association, Montreal Convention Center, Montreal, Quebec, Canada Online <PDF>. 2017-01-23 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p103732_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Abstract: This paper reports on findings from the larger Immigrant Civic Engagement Project. The project includes focus group interviews with immigrant and native-born Californians, interviews with leaders and staff of a variety of non-profit and civic organizations, interviews with local officials and policy-makers in these communities, and analysis of newspaper coverage of immigrant communities. Here we report on preliminary findings for seven communities in the Silicon Valley (or South Bay) area. In particular, we compare and contrast the experience of the Mexican-American community (both immigrant and later generations) to those of the Indian, Vietnamese and Portuguese.

We argue that sensitivity to the immigrant experience is vital in understanding social and political capital, and that the barriers faced by foreign-born Latinos cannot just be reduced to individual skills and resources, though these are important. The recognition of the additional barriers of documentation status and recent migration are critical to understanding the Latino experience, especially in comparison to other groups.

Relative to other immigrant communities, it appears like Mexican immigrants have fewer civic and social service organizations. Though some argue that this difference reflects a lack of civic values and interest in politics on the part of Latinos; such perceptions increase the relative neglect of this community by local officials and policy-makers, reinforcing civic and political marginalization. This research finds that government support and mainstream outreach to immigrant communities is in fact critical in helping newcomers’ create civic organizations, and through them, building social, civic and political capital.


Similar Titles:
Can Social Capital Account for Differences in Political Participation Across American Cities?

Social Capital and Political Participation in America: An Individual or Group Level Relationship?

Immigration, Ethnicity, and Global Governance: Transnational Political Participation in American Cuban, Jewish, and Irish Communities


 
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