Rock, rap, or reggaeton? Assessing Mexican immigrants' cultural assimilation using Facebook data

Ian Stewart, René D. Flores, Timothy Riffe, Ingmar Weber, Emilio Zagheni

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

The degree to which Mexican immigrants in the U.S. are assimilating culturally has been widely debated. To examine this question, we focus on musical taste, a key symbolic resource that signals the social positions of individuals. We adapt an assimilation metric from earlier work to analyze self-reported musical interests among immigrants in Facebook. We use the relative levels of interest in musical genres, where a similarity to the host population in musical preferences is treated as evidence of cultural assimilation. Contrary to skeptics of Mexican assimilation, we find significant cultural convergence even among first-generation immigrants, which prob-lematizes their use as assimilative “benchmarks” in the literature. Further, 2nd generation Mexican Americans show high cultural convergence vis-à-vis both Anglos and African-Americans, with the exception of those who speak Spanish. Rather than conforming to a single assimilation path, our findings reveal how Mexican immigrants defy simple unilinear theoretical expectations and illuminate their uniquely heterogeneous character.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Web Conference 2019 - Proceedings of the World Wide Web Conference, WWW 2019
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery, Inc
Pages3258-3264
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9781450366748
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 13 May 2019
Event2019 World Wide Web Conference, WWW 2019 - San Francisco, United States
Duration: 13 May 201917 May 2019

Publication series

NameThe Web Conference 2019 - Proceedings of the World Wide Web Conference, WWW 2019

Conference

Conference2019 World Wide Web Conference, WWW 2019
CountryUnited States
CitySan Francisco
Period13/5/1917/5/19

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Keywords

  • Demography
  • Immigration
  • Online advertising
  • Social networks

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Software

Cite this

Stewart, I., Flores, R. D., Riffe, T., Weber, I., & Zagheni, E. (2019). Rock, rap, or reggaeton? Assessing Mexican immigrants' cultural assimilation using Facebook data. In The Web Conference 2019 - Proceedings of the World Wide Web Conference, WWW 2019 (pp. 3258-3264). (The Web Conference 2019 - Proceedings of the World Wide Web Conference, WWW 2019). Association for Computing Machinery, Inc. https://doi.org/10.1145/3308558.3313409