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The Relationships of Intergroup Contact to Social Identity and Political Consciousness

Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences
SAGE Publications
Publication Date
  • Political Science


The impact of three forms of intergroup contact (Mexican descent, other minority, and Anglo) on the social identities and political attitudes of a national sample of native-born persons of Mexican descent was examined. Cast within Tajfel's Social Identity theory, the various social contexts were expected to predict three distinct types of ethnic identity: Cultural Ethnicity (Ingroup contact), Politicized Ethnicity (Ingroup and Minority Outgroup contact), and Assimilationist Ethnicity (Anglo contact). Contrasting political orientations were also predicted for the types of contact, with group-conscious attitudes associated with Ingroup and Minority Outgroup contacts and conservative political attitudes with A nglo contact. Support is provided for the expected relationships between Ingroup and Minority Outgroup interactions and identity and political attitudes. Anglo contact was related to conservative political attitudes.

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