Latino cultural assimilation, divided loyalities and the World Cup

Valeriano, B. (2014) Latino cultural assimilation, divided loyalities and the World Cup. Soccer and Society, 15(3), pp. 291-313. (doi: 10.1080/14660970.2013.828599)

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The tendency for Latinos in the USA to support Mexican (or other national) soccer teams is taken as a problematic signal that Latinos are not assimilating into mainstream US society. The question of cultural assimilation and identity is critical to the ongoing debate regarding immigration and the influx of Latinos in the USA. Many argue that the Latino population differs from past immigrant populations because the new group is not assimilating into mainstream US society and sports structures. This paper challenges the thesis that the support of a person’s favoured national team can measure cultural assimilation and loyalty to the USA 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 US incorporation of Latinos into US civil society; after all, assimilation is not a one-way street. It is less the case that Latinos in the USA have divided loyalties and more likely that they are underrepresented and ignored by US institutions. Soccer is a possible pathway towards assimilation and incorporation if taken seriously by the dominant structural organizations.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Valeriano, Dr Brandon
Authors: Valeriano, B.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Politics
Journal Name:Soccer and Society
Publisher:Taylor and Francis (Routledge)
ISSN (Online):1743-9590
Published Online:21 August 2013

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