February 20, 2015

Alexis Pankey

Major and Classification

African American Studies

Faculty Mentors

  • Professor Janelle Wong

Department

  • Political Science

McNair Project

“Political Socialization: What does the African American experience reveal about how immigrants are being incorporated?”

Today, one of every five Americans, over fifty-five million people, are immigrants or the children of immigrants. (Portes and Rumbaut 2001) With immigrants representing an increasing proportion of the U.S. population, it is of increasing import to consider how immigrants are being socialized into the American political system, and how those methods of socialization relate to their political incorporation and enfranchisement. The purpose of this project is to examine the African American community, an established minority group within the American political system, as a barometer by which to compare the process of political learning and incorporation of immigrant families. Using structured interviews, this study compares and contrasts the style of political learning in African American households with immigrant in order to best address the needs of these minority groups. Examining the political socialization process in these households, and what inconsistencies this may reveal about current understanding of political socialization and incorporation will grant a fuller understanding of how to create a more equitably engaged American politic.