Mexican American support for third parties: The case of La Raza Unida

Benjamin Márquez, Rodolfo Espino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Given barriers generated by racism, direct appeals for political solidarity should resonate strongly among racial and ethnic groups. Yet, such appeals can be mitigated as those barriers are overcome and minorities assimilate into society. We examine the case of Mexican Americans during the Chicano Movement. At this time, many Mexican Americans were assimilating and finding a place in the social hierarchy while others argued against assimilation. An important example of racial identity politics came in 1972 when La Raza Unida Party [LRUP] fielded a candidate for governor in Texas. Counter to what standard theories of assimilation and acculturation would predict, Mexican Americans responded to this call for racial solidarity. Based on quantitative and qualitative evidence, we argue that the election revealed intense alienation among Mexican Americans from Anglo-dominated politics. However, Mexican American support for LRUP was uneven across Texas and reflected differing levels of economic attainment and incorporation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)290-312
Number of pages23
JournalEthnic and Racial Studies
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2010


  • Chicano movement
  • Identity politics
  • La Raza Unida
  • Political participation
  • Texas politics
  • Third parties

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Anthropology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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