The goal of this paper is to examine the relevance of ethnic identity in young Latinos and Whites in the Phoenix area. Based on interviews with 30 Latino and White young adults, I explore how “Zoomers” and millennials think about their ethnicity. I found that Whites’ ethnic identity tends to be symbolic or meaningless as they attribute less importance to ethnic identity because it has low personal significance and is inconsequential in their daily lives. Latinos, with their stronger connection to the ethnic core, tend to describe their ethnicity as consequential due to their experiences of discrimination that make their ethnic identity less optional. This research has implications for those looking to better understand how different groups think about their ethnicity.
- Symbolic and Consequential Ethnicity for Latinos and Whites in Phoenix