Latino\a Ethnic Identity in the New Diaspora: Perspectives of a Select Group of Latino\a Undergraduates at a Predominantly White Land Grant University

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Virginia Tech


The increasing presence of "Latinos" in higher education presents a challenge to the academy, particularly in understanding their adjustment to the college environment (Umana-Taylor, Diversi & Fine, 2002). This study investigates how ethnically diverse "Latino\a" undergraduates construct and affirm ethnic identity. The findings suggest that a "Latino\a" pan-ethnicity is problematic because of the diversity of national origins, family histories, linguistic preferences, and cultural traditions that exists among the different nationalities that comprise this ethnic group. Unlike previous generations of immigrants, new diaspora "Latinos" seek integration into American society as bilinguals with linguistic command for both Spanish and English and resist abandonment of national identities and culture. These are suggestive of transnational identities that are multiple and adaptive to a variety of contexts and situations; rather than being fixed and constant.



Latino/a Diaspora, Acculturation and Assimilation, Ethnic Identity, Latinos in Higher Education