Citizenship and Belonging: The Construction of US Latino Identity Today


  • Suzanne Oboler


Palabras clave:

Citizenship, Latinos, Migration, United States of America


Thus, while my aim in this essay is to discuss the impact of Latinos on the changing meanings of citizenship, this essay also serves as a reflection on the issue of “who is actually changing what?” in US society. I first look at the controversial history and ambiguous “placement” of Latinos as U.S. citizens and residents in the context of racialized labeling and profiling in U.S. society; I then explore the peculiar changes–a kind of facelift–which ethnicity has undergone under the new conditions of a national security ideology with its concomitant undermining of citizenship in the United States. Finally, I discuss some of the ways that, largely as a result of the recognition of their right to have rights, Latinos are contributing, in their own right, to the changing meanings of citizenship and belonging in the US context. Ultimately, I argue, it is through their participation in redefining the very meaning of citizenship in the post 9/11 period that Latinos are themselves (re)constructing and affirming their identity in the United States.