Racial Politics and Racial Self-Identification: A Case Study of Arizona, 2010-2011

Nolan L. Cabrera, Matthew R. Holliday

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


This study examines the relationship between Arizona’s anti-Latina/o policies and changing patterns of racial self-identification for students at the University of Arizona. Using institutional data and the university’s Entering Student Survey, we explored trends in racial/ethnic self-identification between two cohorts of students: one before and one after the summer of 2010 (passage of SB1070, HB2281, and Proposition 107). Descriptive analyses revealed that both White and Latina/o students declined to state a racial/ethnic background at substantially higher rates after the passages of the bills. After the passage of the legislation, Latina/os used “Mexican” identifiers at substantially lower rates and “White” identifiers at substantially higher rates. Implications are discussed for racial/ethnic self-identification and higher education practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)131-149
Number of pages19
JournalHispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 1 2017


  • Arizona
  • HB2281
  • Latina/o identity
  • Proposition 107
  • SB1070
  • White identity
  • racial identification
  • racial politics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Cultural Studies
  • Anthropology
  • Linguistics and Language


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