Date of Degree
PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)
Michael S. Lewis-Beck
What leads Asian Americans and Latinos to develop panethnicity? What are the political consequences of panethnicity? In answering these two questions, I first define panethnicity as a sense of solidarity beyond different ethnic or national origins. My emphasis in defining panethnicity as a sense of solidarity shared among Asian Americans and Latinos is on differentiating the concept panethnicity from panethnic self-identification and group consciousness. Then, I theoretically discuss the nature of panethnicity, drawing on the ethnic studies literature. I identify two important groups of theories on ethnicity: culturalism and instrumentalism. Building on instrumentalism as an underlying theory of panethnicity, I assume that panethnicity among Asian Americans and Latinos is a social product. Panethnicity is a creation of both objective outer contextual settings and personal reactions to them.
Following the theoretical discussion, I empirically test how outer contextual settings and individual features affect the formation of panethnicity. Specifically, the contextual factors include the size of the panethnic population, the level of segregation, the number of panethnic elected officials and organizations, and religious service attendance. The individual factors of interest include panethnic self-identification, discrimination experience, English proficiency and birth place. I call these factors individual socializing factors. After this test, I examine how panethnicity, combined with the contextual factors and individual socializing factors, affects political participation including voting and nonvoting activities among Asian Americans and Latinos.
The main thesis of this dissertation is threefold. First, panethnicity is formed as a product of social process. Asian Americans and Latinos develop panethnicity by responding to external settings and through their personal socializing experiences. Second, panethnicity shapes Asian Americans' and Latinos' political participation. That is, panethnicity as a political resource influences voting and nonvoting participation among Asian Americans and Latinos. However, how panethnicity affects political participation varies, depending on panethnic groups and their modes of political participation. Lastly, along with panethnicity, group features such as discrimination experience and contextual factors are important ingredients for political participation among Asian Americans and Latinos. Particularly, my evidence suggests that the contextual factors are better predictors of Asian American and Latino voting participation than nonvoting participation.
Asian Americans, Latinos, Panethnicity, Political Participation
vii, 195 pages
Includes bibliographical references (pages 179-195).
Copyright 2010 Tae Eun Min