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Importance of State and Local Variation in Black–Brown Attitudes: How Latinos View Blacks and How Blacks Affect Their Views

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  23 October 2019

Barbara Gomez-Aguinaga
University of New Mexico
Gabriel R. Sanchez*
University of New Mexico
Matt Barreto
University of California, Los Angeles
Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Gabriel R. Sanchez, Department of Political Science, Social Sciences, University of New Mexico, Building #78, Rm 2059, 1915 Roma St NE, Albuquerque, NM 87131. E-mail:
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This study explores Latino perceptions of commonality and competition with African Americans across the country, focusing on the South. Using the Latino National Survey (LNS), we test the existing inter-group relation theories using an original measurement approach. With the creation of relative measures of commonality and competition of Latinos toward Blacks, we find that Latinos perceive co-ethnics as a greater source of competition than Blacks when our relative measure is used to interpret Latino perceptions of competition with African Americans. Moreover, our results suggest that Latinos in the South have similar perceptions of commonality to Blacks as Latinos more generally, across both approaches that measure perceptions of commonality. Most importantly, we find that when the relative competition measure is employed, Latinos who live in Southern states do in fact have higher perceptions of competition with Blacks than Latinos at large. These trends provide a valuable addition to the extant literature focused on inter-group relations by emphasizing that not only place and context matter, but also the way perceptions of competition and commonality are measured and operationalized.

Research Article
Copyright © The Race, Ethnicity, and Politics Section of the American Political Science Association 2019

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