The social context of latino threat and punitive latino sentiment

Eric A. Stewart, Ramiro Martinez, Eric P. Baumer, Marc Gertz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Prior research on the racial threat perspective and social control typically relies on aggregate-level demographic measures and focuses on racial, rather than on Latino group, composition. This predominant focus in research on racial threat and social control makes it unclear whether the assumed linkages are confined to one subordinate group or whether other groups, such as Latinos, are viewed as threatening and elicit heightened social control reactions as well. In the current study, we use data from the Punitive Attitudes Toward Hispanic (PATH) Study, a national sample of U.S. residents to investigate the influence of macro-and micro-level measures of Latino group threat on punitive Latino sentiment. More specifically, we use multilevel models to detect direct and interactive relationships between Latino presence and perceived Latino threat on punitive sentiment. The findings show that Latino population growth and perceived Latino criminal and economic threat significantly predict punitive Latino sentiment. Additionally, multiplicative models suggest that the effect of perceived criminal threat on punitive Latino sentiment is most pronounced in settings that have experienced recent growth in the size of the Latino population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)68-92
Number of pages25
JournalSocial Problems
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science


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