- When it comes to nationality, YLA are specific and identify themselves by their country of origin. The younger age group of 14-24 year-olds are more likely than those aged 25-34 to identify with specific nationality based on preferences of their parents and grandparents. The younger segments refer to nationality as a way to be more unique.
- YLA feel that the current definition of being Latino is based on language and looks: 59% say that other people think Latinos must speak Spanish; 58% say other people think Latinos must look "Spanish" (dark hair, eyes and skin). Because not all YLA look Latino or speak Spanish, many feel the need to explain themselves: 36% say people don't believe them when they tell them they are Latino; 29% feel like they have to prove their Latino identity to people.
- YLA exist in a hybrid world and are masters at navigating their spaces and identities; 77% report that they are in control of which identity all or most of the time. YLA identify with being Latino when they are with their family (48%), around Latino friends (43%), in their home (41%) and in their country of origin (41%). YLA identify with being American when they are with non-Latino friends (31%), in public spaces (26%), at school (24%) and at work (24%). Their Latino and American identities intersect often, such as when in public spaces (59%), at school (50%), in bars and clubs (48%) and with non-Latino friends (47%).
- Being Latino means more than just speaking and looking Spanish; to YLA it means being family oriented (84%), proud (83%), hard working (81%), passionate (80%), tied to tradition (77%), religious (71%), and believing in higher education (60%) and giving back to their community (53%). YLA are unconventional in terms of religion; 60% believe you do not have to go to church in order to prove your faith to God and 49% believe religion is an extremely important part of their lives.
- YLA are extremely interested in maintaining a connection with their culture; 67% agree that this is something that is important to them and nearly half of YLA have the desire to form a stronger connection to their Latino culture. While YLA don't seem panicked, there is some concern over the possibility of becoming disconnected: 31% agree that they are afraid of losing the connection; 30% feel that they are unequipped to pass down their culture, and 25% are unsure of how to maintain the connection.
Wednesday, March 08, 2006
By 2020, Latinos will be the ethnic majority in the country, and second generation young Latino Americans (YLAs) born in the U.S. with at least one foreign-born parent will represent 36% of all Latinos. Understanding the Young Latino in America, a new study commissioned by mun2tv, reveals some information about this group of young people between cultures (italics are mine to highlight what I found especially intriguing):
Labels: Life Between Cultures