Latino Studies and Political Science: Politics and Power Perspectives for Latino Communities and Its Impact On the Discipline


John Garcia

Document Id: OC-34

The development of Latino studies over the past 25 years has focused on the examination, analysis, and expansion of the knowledge base of Latino origin persons and communities in the U.S.. Within the academy, questions of legitimacy as a focus of scholarly inquiry were confronted by Latino Studies scholars. While, the development of Latino Studies has established its tradition to include systematic analysis of the Latino experiences with a dimension of the application of the knowledge for social change and empowerment of the Latino community. This paper portrays the development of Latino Studies, particularly in the realm of politics, power, and policy. In this discussion, three themes will be developed: a) nature and development of Latino Studies over the past 25 years; b) development and impact of Latino scholars on the Political Science profession; and c) the impact of Latino Studies scholarship on the discipline of Political Science. This paper was prepared for the Julian Samora Research Institute's conference on Transforming the Social Sciences through Latino Studies held at Michigan State University, April, 1997.

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