Transnational identity and behaviour: an ethnographic comparison of first and second generation Latino immigrants

Magaly Sanchez, Princeton University

We present findings from ethnographic work conducted during 2002 and 2003 on the formation of transnational identities among first and second generation immigrants in three different urban sites in the northeastern United States: Philadelphia, New York City, and the New Jersey urban corridor connecting these two poles. The sample was compiled using chain referral methods and was recruited to represent four broad categories of immigrants: Mexicans, Central Americans, Caribbeans, and South Americans. The final sample included 160 persons. We found that at this point in their trajectory of incorporation, respondents identified themselves more as Latinos than Americans. The solidification a pan-national Latino identity in the second generation does not necessarily imply ghettoization, however, but defines an ideological space from which the second generation encounters American society and its diverse peoples: whites, blacks, Asians, and others.

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Presented in Poster Session 5