Ethnic Identification among Urban Latinos: Language and Flexibility

Ethnic Identification among Urban Latinos: Language and Flexibility
Rosalyn Negron
September 2011

ISBN-13:  978-1-59332-468-1 / Hardcover
Dimensions:  5.5 x 8.5 / xiv, 190 pages

Price   $65.00


Negron examines how New York City Latinos negotiate between multiple ethnic identifications. She finds no one-to-one relationship between biographical ethnicity and the use of language and other ethnic markers. Through linguistic flexibility, cross-cultural fluency, and negotiating aspects of personal image, individuals deploy ethnicity in creative and unexpected ways. The reasons for switching ethnic categories range from the relatively minor (getting free drinks), to the quotidian (connecting with friends), to the vital (making a sale). Negron’s work calls into question the validity of ethno-racial categories used in surveys like the Census. She argues that patterns of self-identification are based on a complex interplay among interactional, cognitive, and situational factors as well as personal predispositions and skills.

About the Author

Rosalyn Negron is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. She earned her Ph.D. in 2007 from the University of Florida. Her research focuses on social interaction and the performance of ethnicity in everyday life, with special emphasis on the development of ethnic flexibility among U.S. Latinos.