Edición Instituto Cervantes at FAS - Harvard University
Estudios del Observatorio/Observatorio Studies. 065-11/2020EN (Trans.)
Abstract: The meaning of the terms ‘Hispanic’ and ‘Latino’ in the United States have been debated since their emergence. Some people who identify as Latino or Hispanic claim geographic origin is the identity’s defining characteristic, while others argue that internal and external racial perceptions of the group, lived experiences of oppression, or common cultural components are more relevant. This study examines the conception of these identities in the second half of the 20th century in order to understand part of their current meaning. It analyzes the population that the United States Census classifies as Hispanic/Latino, beginning with the social movements that arose during the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s to bring an end to discrimination and achieve legal and representative equality in key U.S. institutions. As time has passed and more people from Latin America and Spain have arrived in the county, the meaning of the terms ‘Hispanic’ and ‘Latino’ have taken on new dimensions. Nevertheless, these terms refer to an identity that has always had a political component and has always brought together very disparate populations, which it continues to do today.
Keywords: Hispanics, Latinos, Latinx, identity, migration, panethnicity