McNair/Gateway Scholars Program USC

Luis Garcia Rico

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Major and Classification

Political Science and American Studies

Faculty Mentor

  • George Sanchez, Ph.D.

Department

  • Dornsife College of Letters, Arts, & Sciences

McNair Project

Learning the Terrain: A Study of Catholic Religiosity and Latino Immigrant Political Socialization

Abstract
This project studies the influence of catholic religiosity on the political socialization of Latino immigrants in Los Angeles. Using data from semi-structured interviews with Mexican and Central American immigrants who self identified as consistent religious participants, this study explores how the interplay of political and religious socialization in the country of origin and re-socialization in the United States affects overall partisanship, political knowledge, and convictions. I find that home country politics and religiosity tend to remain salient in salience in an immigrant's politics, while re-socialization only serves to develop existing convictions; supporting the "life cycle" theory of political socialization. Additionally, Catholic religiosity appears to be correlated with political views supporting community and respect for humanity, although it is not necessarily a catalyst for any particular forms of participation in and of itself.