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Unification And Integration In The American Political System

1309 words - 6 pages

Unification and Integration in the American Political System
A serious problem among Latinos in America is finding a similarity among the many Latino cultures residing within the United States, an issue that can be better understood looking at the existing literature of the Latino’s community and political condition in order to explain their ability and opportunity to be incorporated into the American political system. The one constant for the Latino culture is similarity of language; the one difference is national origin. This difference comes from the fact that most Latino’s define themselves by their ancestral past e.g. Mexican, Spanish, Colombian, Puerto Rican or whomever their ...view middle of the document...

The one advantage the Irish community had over many other races is the right to vote, second was culture identity. It was for these reasons the Irish realized that by having numbers, the battles of equality through the right to vote could bring the changes they sought. Politicians took up the battle for the Irish to gain Irish electorate votes realizing that by strengthening the Irish electorate would thus increase their voting base. To explain, what occurred was a cultural identification among the Irish Americans, which united a group of immigrants toward voting rights and the voice in politics they sought. On the same note of unification many Latinos relate to their culture and community by association to a group, a church, social justice organization, etc. One theory about assimilation and participation rates for Latinos could be twofold: one is religious affiliation, and two, commitment to a cause. With this idea comes two thoughts, in other words, the more connected a person believes his or herself to be to a community the more apt they are to engage themselves toward a particular cause. To further explore these ideas, we will look at the fall 2008 Presidential Election, according to the U.S. Census Bureau the fall 2008 Presidential Election was the most diverse in history. Latinos came to the polls unified by religious factors in relation to “moral issues” such as same-sex marriage, stem cell research, and abortion.” (U.S. Census Bureau election results) These are all issues supported by the religious leaders. Where the Irish found a connection in race, Latinos have found a connection in religious assimilation. Studies show that Latino theologies seem to focus on social justice issues and community (De La Torre and Aponte) bringing both issues on politics or other causes and community together to fight for a cause. Recent survey data indicates that 38-44% of Latinos report attending church regularly (pew Hispanic Survey 2006) the teachings of the church seem to shape beliefs about various groups in society. Thus, shaping the ideals of society and how a voter chooses to vote is part of being a good Christian. In sum, as church helps set the standards or remains the deciding factor of community norms so will the following of the Latino in relation to how they perceive an issue-- thus creating a unification in a belief of an issue. Data shows that as a Latino becomes engaged in their community, community members will care that they have a voice in the political system to change those things they feel are unfair or in need amendment. In short, the main point here is as unification grows among communities, eventually assimilation of ideas come second. (Fraga p. 517-520)
Moreover, in relation to unification and how Latinos perceive themselves in a political system the one factor needing further exploration is the idea that all Latinos fall under the label of the Hispanic instead of their country of origin, as seen below in Figure 1
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