Getting to know you? Latino-Anglo social contact

Susan Welch, Lee Sigelman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


Objective. Most research on assimilation of the large and growing Latino population in the U.S. focuses on its educational and economic advances. Another important measure of assimilation, contact with non-Latinos, has not been examined. This study probes the frequency, antecedents, and consequences of social contact between Latinos and Anglos. Methods. We analyze data from the National Latino Political Survey, for which large samples of Mexican, Puerto Rican, and Cuban Americans were interviewed. Results. Social contact between Latinos and Anglos appears to be considerably more frequent than that between African Americans and whites. In all three Latino groups, more or less the same factors encourage such contact. However, there is no consistent or substantial relationship between contact with Anglos and affect for them. Conclusions. The relatively high frequency of Latino-Anglo social contact is not especially surprising, nor is the finding that higher levels of contact are related to other measures of assimilation. More extensive research will be needed, however, to unravel the consequences of such contact.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)67-83
Number of pages17
JournalSocial Science Quarterly
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2000

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Social Sciences


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