Find the word definition


Latinidad is a Spanish language term that is used to reference the various attributes that are shared by Latin American people and their descendants without reducing those similarities to any single essential trait. It was first taken up within US Latino studies by the sociologist Felix Padilla in his 1985 study of Mexicans and Puerto Ricans in Chicago, and has since been used up by a wide range of scholars as a way to speak of Latinos/as communities and cultural practices outside of a strictly Latin American context. As a social construct, latinidad references "a particular geopolitical experience but it also contains within it the complexities and contradictions of immigration, (post)(neo)colonialism, race, color, legal status, class, nation, language and the politics of location." As a theoretical concept latinidad is a useful way to discuss amalgamations of Latin American cultures and communities outside of any singular national frame. Latinidad also names the result of forging a shared cultural identity out of disparate elements in order to wield political and social power through pan-Latino/a solidarity. Rather than be defined as any singular phenomenon, understandings of Latinidad are contingent on place-specific social relations.