What does it mean to be "Mexican"? Social construction of an ethnic identity

Yolanda Flores Niemann, Andrea J. Romero, Jorge Arredondo, Victor Rodriguez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


To better understand the impact of ethnic identity, it is important to examine people's social construction, or definition, of that identity. In this study, the social construction of ethnic identity of predominantly low-acculturated, first-and second-generation U.S. Mexicans and Mexican Americans was examined by asking focus group participants to talk about what it meant to them to be members of their ethnic groups. These open-ended responses then were coded along Phinney's aspects of ethnicity. Several interesting patterns emerged, some of which have not been emphasized in previous literature, such as conflict with African Americans and Chicanas/Chicanos. Discussion centers on the value of listening to people's social constructions of their ethnic identity to better understand their social realities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)47-60
Number of pages14
JournalHispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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