Date of Award

Fall 12-2021

Document Type

Distinction Paper

Degree Name

Political Science-BA


History & Political Science


Rachel Schwartz

First Committee Member

Amy Sheeran

Second Committee Member

Robin Grote


Identity, Latin America, American Demonym, Latino

Subject Categories

Discourse and Text Linguistics | Latin American Studies | Latina/o Studies | Syntax


Current literature addresses the question of Latin American identity largely in terms of assimilation, language proficiency, generation of immigrant, and political participation, while the American demonym remains an understudied topic. ‘America’ has been popularized in its usage to refer only to the United States and ‘American’ to its nationals. Although Latin Americans are natives of the Americas, they are rarely considered ‘American’. This study examines factors that influence the identity of Latin Americans living in the United States and focuses primarily on the connection between identity and the understanding of ‘America’. To examine this relationship, a questionnaire, offered in Spanish and English, was administered to Latin Americans living in or around Columbus, Ohio through convenience sampling. The findings demonstrate that an individual’s understanding of America is influential in how they identify and their identification preferences. This research provides a new understanding of how some Latin Americans view ‘America’ and introduces an experimental variable to the study of Latin American identities in the United States.

Licensing Permission

Copyright, all rights reserved. Fair Use