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Latinx, Hispanic, Chicano/a: How And Why Do People Self-Identify?

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Catholics attend a binational mass in memory of migrants who died during their journey to the U.S. at the banks of the Rio Bravo border between Mexico and the United States, in Ciudad Juarez
Jose Luis Gonzalez
/
REUTERS
Catholics hold up flags of Central and South American countries, as well as the U.S. flag, as they attend a binational mass in memory of migrants who died during their journey to the U.S. at the banks of the Rio Bravo border between Mexico and the United States, in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico November 2, 2019.

Nearly two-thirds of San Antonio's population is Hispanic, indigenous or of Mexican descent. But there are 2.3 million people living in the Alamo City, and not all Latino and Hispanic populations use the same identifying terms.

How do pan-ethnic labels reflect evolving cultural norms for Americans who trace their heritage to Latin America or Spain?

What decides or influences what term an individual prefers? Are these labels more generational or location- or culture-specific?

What are the potential implications of the differences in how populations self-identify? How does the Census address this question? What about polling?

Guests: 

  • Mark Hugo Lopez, director of global migration and demography research at Pew Research Center
  • Daniel Delgado, sociology professor who studies race and ethnicity at Texas A&M San Antonio
  • Sarah Zenaida Gould, Ph.D., interim executive director at the Mexican American Civil Rights Institute, former founding director of the Museo del Westside and lead curatorial researcher at UTSA's Institute of Texan Cultures

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*This interview was recorded on Wednesday, September 30.

Kathleen Creedon can be reached at kathleen@tpr.org or on Twitter at @Kath_Creedon