This study assesses the influence of dual nationality on connectedness to the American polity. Specifically, it examines whether first-generation dual national Latinos are less politically connected than their sole U.S. national counterparts. We define political connectedness as the skills, attitudes, and behaviors that attach someone to the political system. According to the traditional view on immigration and assimilation, dual nationality should be associated with negative consequences for political integration. Conversely, according to the transnational perspective, multiple nationalities do not preclude, and in fact may facilitate, political assimilation and incorporation. Relying on data from The Washington Post/Henry J. Kaiser Foundation/Harvard University National Survey on Latinos in America (1999) and the Pew Hispanic Center/Kaiser Family Foundation 2002 National Survey of Latinos, we investigate the influence of dual nationality on first-generation Latinos' English language proficiency, attitudinal political connectedness (specifically, their self-identification as Americans, consideration of the United States as their real homeland, and civic duty) and electoral participation. Although our results support the traditional view, we cannot rule out that generational replacement will resolve dual nationality's negative influence on political connectedness.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science