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Abstract

Unlike Salvadorans, Mexican/Mexican Americans have long established communities revolved around their culture. They have advanced in social class, education and political representation. On the other hand, Salvadorans have only just recently begun migrating and settling in predominantly Mexican/Mexican American communities. Competition over resources and the preservation of Mexican/Mexican American culture has caused continuing conflicts among Salvadorans and Mexicans/Mexican Americans. Additionally, inter-ethnic and in-group conflicts are also affected by generational differences (1st, 2nd, 3rd generation, etc.). Due to acculturation, Latinos/as struggle to retain their cultural heritage and parents often lose the ability to influence their children’s ethnic identity (customs, language, social norms). My research aims to contribute to the development and maintenance of ethnic identity and understanding of interethnic conflicts they face amongst Mexicans in California. I will briefly explore the migration patterns of Salvadorans and Mexican/Mexican Americans from past research focusing on ethnic identity development and how it may be connected to generational differences, experiences based on acculturation and discrimination, and family ethnic socialization, how ethnic identity is associated with positive self-esteem, and how marginalization can create group conflict among Latinos/as; specifically with Salvadorans and Mexican/Mexican Americans. The purpose of this research is to educate and bring to light the different experiences of Latinos/as and the struggles to retain ethnic identity and positive self-esteem. Although most research focuses on the Mexican experience, my research will attempt to incorporate the Salvadoran experience— one that reflects Salvadorans’ being a double minority: within wider American society and within their Latino/a ethnic group. In doing so, I wish to bring attention to this inter-ethnic conflict that has not been explored enough.

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