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  • Print publication year: 2011
  • Online publication date: June 2012

14 - Latinos and the Future of American Politics

Summary

What might this all mean in the coming years? What will Latinos’ attitudes and public opinion look or sound like after the second decade of the twenty-first century? Which factors will influence those views? The preceding chapters have drawn on the 2006 Latino National Survey and have considered an array of evidence on a wide range of substantive questions regarding Latinos’ perspectives about issues central to their place in the American political and social structure. Along with learning much about what Latinos think regarding those issues, we have explored why that is, which variables and attributes may be related to and thus help explain their outlooks. In conclusion, we extend the assessment of those explanatory factors and consider their implications for Latinos in the (near) future of American society and politics, providing a discussion looking forward and extrapolating from the body of evidence presented in our analyses. In short, we offer some informed suppositions on what the future may hold.

To a considerable degree, what emerges from the chapters in this volume points to a modified assimilation story. However, the breadth and richness of our evidence has also allowed us to uncover nuance and variation in Latinos’ views on an array of issues, which suggests a different, more complex outlook – one that might be characterized as neoassimilation – with Latinos both adapting to the larger society and the larger society changing in response, and with assimilation not precluding the retention of distinctive cultural ties. This conclusion highlights some of our most notable findings.

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