Veronica Terriquez – The Political Socialization of Youth from Immigrant Families and the Role of Community-Based Organizations

Thursday, January 31
12:30pm-2:00pm
Social Sciences Building 101

Veronica Terriquez (USC) will present, “The Political Socialization of Youth from Immigrant Families and the Role of Community-Based Organizations”.

Abstract: Advancing the literature on immigrant incorporation, youth civic engagement, and voluntary associations, this mixed-methods study examines the political socialization of youth from immigrant families. I contend that the barriers to immigrant parents’ political engagement limit their children’s political participation, unless children gain significant political exposure from community-based organizations (CBOs) or other non-family sources. Drawing on survey data from a representative sample of California’s youth population, my analysis demonstrate strong support for the top-down model of political socialization in which political behaviors, or lack thereof, are transmitted from immigrant parents to their U.S.-raised children. However, this is not the case for my unique survey sample of youth who participated in politically oriented CBOs. My analysis of follow-up in depth interviews with survey respondents indicates that while most youth do not seek to politicize their immigrant parents, CBO youth members actively orient their immigrant parents to U.S. politics. In describing the efforts of CBO youth members to educate their foreign-born parents about politics and encourage their participation, I demonstrate trickle-up effects in the political socialization of immigrant families. I argue that future research on politically oriented civic associations should consider the impact of individual-level organizational membership on family-level patterns of political engagement.

*Jointly sponsored with UCSD Department of Sociology