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ERIC Number: EJ779099
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 26
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0005-2604
All Roads Lead to Rust: How Acculturation Erodes Latino Immigrant Trust in Government
Michelson, Melissa R.
Aztlan: A Journal of Chicano Studies, v32 n2 p21-46 Fall 2007
Political trust is an important determinant of individual political behavior and government effectiveness and an indication of the health of civil society. Declining trust among Americans is well documented. Surveys of Latino immigrants indicate that they are also cynical about government, but it is not clear whether this distrust takes the same form or is distinctive due to a racialized outlook and experience. This essay analyzes a set of 56 interviews with California immigrants of Latino (mostly Mexican) descent. The results indicate that some Latino immigrants distrust the government because they believe the government is racist, suggesting they have acculturated into an ethnic minority subculture. But others are more like Anglo Americans in their cynicism, citing concerns such as lying politicians; this suggests they have socially incorporated into the American mainstream. Still other responses are less predictable, the result of a nuanced acculturation process. These findings reflect the multiple identities adopted by immigrants and the multiple borders they face as they adapt to life in the United States.
UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center. 193 Haines Hall, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1544. Tel: 310-794-9380; Tel: 310-825-2642; Fax: 310-206-1784; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California