Ethnic identities, language, and economic outcomes among dominicans in a new destination

Leif Jensen, Jeffrey H. Cohen, Almeida Jacqueline Toribio, Gordon F. De Jong, Leila Rodríguez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Objective. This study examines how racial/ethnic self-identity interrelates with language ability, skin tone, and years in the United States and with indicators of socioeconomic attainment for Dominican immigrants in Reading, Pennsylvania, a new destination city that had a nearly 800 percent increase in the Dominican population between 1990-2000. Methods. In-depth ethno-surveys conducted with a sample of 65 Dominican-origin adults are the basis for the descriptive analysis. Results. Based on open-ended responses, nearly 43 percent of immigrants described themselves with a specific ethnic identifier (Dominican) and 41 percent use a more general panethnic identifier (Hispanic or Latino). Panethnic self-identity is interrelated with stronger language ability, lighter skin tone, and more years in the United States, and with better indicators of socioeconomic status. Conclusion. Race/ethnic identity is an important component of Dominican immigrant assimilation in this new destination context.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1088-1099
Number of pages12
JournalSocial Science Quarterly
Issue number5
StatePublished - Dec 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Social Sciences


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