Comparative research on political and civic engagement: Young Hispanic women as political actors

Leslie D Gonzales, University of Texas at El Paso


Hypotheses. (1) The Hispanic women of northern New Mexico will be more acculturated and assimilated into “mainstream” American culture than the Mexican American women of the border, making them more likely to act in a conventional political manner. (2) When the Mexican American is involved in politics, she is more likely to participate in non-conventional ways, due to the heightened conflict she feels between her own culture and “mainstream” American culture. ^ To explore my hypotheses, two groups of purposefully selected young women have volunteered to complete surveys1 and participate in a focus group session in order to allow the researcher, myself, to gather quantitative and qualitative data. Measuring concepts based on culture or behavior is rather difficult; therefore, I have provided an elaborated section of explanatory definitions for such key variables in chapter five. ^ Studying the Hispanic female youth while expanding the definition of political participation are ways that we, as political scientists, can better understand the political behavior of those who do not always align directly with mainstream American culture and politics. A research agenda, such as my own, can help us to understand as well as teach a young electorate about civic and political engagement, so that we can encourage and inspire all people to participate more. ^ 1To review survey tool, please see Appendix 1.^

Subject Area

Women's Studies|Political Science, General|Sociology, Ethnic and Racial Studies

Recommended Citation

Gonzales, Leslie D, "Comparative research on political and civic engagement: Young Hispanic women as political actors" (2005). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI1427723.