Race does and probably always will have a strong influence in identity formation in the U.S. It’s hard to not talk or even consider race, no matter who you are, because the way society analyzes and accepts you in based on the color of your skin. As ethnic and racial minorities begin to exceed their socially constructed boundaries, specifically speaking, getting into these higher institutions, it comes as no surprise that the top universities started to gather data on the racial and ethnic identities of students, hoping that it can provide the students of color the necessary resources to compete with their White peers.
Tufts University is exactly the top tier institution that almost brags ...view middle of the document...
I’m writing this paper to analyze the information Tufts collects on Latinos and how they are categorized. I believe that by analyzing the Tufts’ system of grouping, I can understand how Latino students at Tufts understand themselves and their ethnic and racial identities in a White dominated institution.
My study is limited to the data collected by Tufts on the three hundred and fifty six self- reporting Latinos students for the 2012-2013 academic year, and informal interviews with active participants in the Latino Community. I wish I could’ve collected the data from this year but that wasn’t out yet for some reason. It is beyond the scope of my study to evaluate the significance of those who check-off Latino simply as a way of being admitted rather than as actually identifying with being Latino. I think, however, this study really brings to light the implication of how those who actually identify as Latino did so and what it says about the overall Latino identity at Tufts. It’s actually that I’ve struggled and dealt with my entire time here and I have a rather passionate experience with this topic.
There are four categories that this research falls into. Beginning with how Latino students identified ethnically and how Tufts deals with the information. It becomes clear that Tufts did not get the importance of ethnic identity within the Latino community and decided to put students in groups that were manageable in the administrative sense, regardless of the needs of the individual groupings. Next I observed the overall self-reported racial identities and how these students mirrored race and the issues associated with it in the community. Tufts again didn’t know how to read the information or understood how race works in the Latino culture and the students answers only mirrored their own understanding of how race in America worked, they were either confused or to choose between identifying as black or white. Analyzing the students that decided to identify as either black or white, I saw that those who decided to identify as white looked to be accepted by the broader Tufts community. While those who identified as Black did so because they couldn’t hide their afro-Caribbean background/ celebrated that background. Through all of this I strongly recommend that Tufts look into creating a new system that isn’t so problematic in understanding the Latino Community.
The process that Tufts have after collecting the responses of the incoming Latino Students is that they break down the ethnicities into seven groupings. These groupings include Mexican, South and Central American, Dominican, Mainland Puerto Rican, Island Puerto Rican, Cuban, and Hispanic. The way Tufts made these groupings was because of how these groups were historically represented throughout the student body. The majority of the groupings correlate with the representation of the entire U.S. in terms of how long they have been represented by the U.S. Usually Puerto...