How do perceptions of belonging or lack of belonging to American society influence political interest and political engagement? To date, there have been few inquiries that systematically investigate notions of perceived belonging to U.S. society and the political ramifications of these predispositions. This project addresses this puzzle and investigates how a sense of perceived social inclusion or exclusion influences political engagement among Latinxs, the largest, one of the fastest growing and most pivotal groups in American politics. By bridging literatures in political science, sociology and psychology, this work offers a novel framework centering on the idea that notions of belonging are fundamentally tied to political attitudes and political behavior for members of marginalized groups. It argues that members of marginalized groups develop different understandings of inclusion in the U.S. according to their every-day experiences, and that these perceptions have the potential of conditioning their political attitudes and political behaviors. To advance this argument, this multi-method project leverages surveys, experiments and in-depth interviews. Through a novel framework rooted in interdisciplinary perspectives and by empirically testing a new measure of perceived belonging to U.S. society, this project makes a significant contribution to our understanding of the factors that shape political behavior among members of marginalized and stigmatized groups.
Join us as Professor Angela X. Ocampo of the University of Michigan presents her paper "Truly at Home? Perceived Belonging and Latino Political Participation." This seminar is part of the American Political Speakers Series, sponsored by the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation.
This event will be held virtually and is open to Harvard students.