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How can researchers and the public know if a group has become assimilated into mainstream culture? Some would suggest that support of national soccer (football) teams could be used as a proxy variable for cultural assimilation. The tendency for Latinos in the United States of America to support Mexican (or other national teams) is thus taken as a problematic signal that Latinos are not assimilating into mainstream American society. The question of cultural assimilation is critical to the ongoing debate regarding immigration and the influx of Latinos in the United States. Many argue that the Latino population is much different than past immigrant populations because the new group is not assimilating into mainstream American society. We challenge the thesis that the choice of a person’s favored national team can measure cultural assimilation and loyalty to America as overly simplistic and as an example of nativism. Support of national soccer teams cannot be used as a reliable indicator for cultural assimilation. An important query left out of the discussion is the level of American incorporation of Latinos into American civil society; after all, assimilation is not a one-way street. It is less the case that Latinos in the United States have divided loyalties and more likely that they are underrepresented and ignored by American institutions.
|Glasgow Author(s):||Valeriano, Dr Brandon|
|College/School:||College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Politics|
|Journal Name:||Soccer and Society|