An essential guide to the new face of electoral politics in America, this book provides an examination of the political mobilization of Latinos and Latinas through the churches and the influence of being of the Catholic faith, enabling an understanding of the social and cultural dynamics at play.
In the United States, there is a belief that Latin Americans are less likely to become politically involved given their largely Catholic faith. However, Catholicism does not affect negatively the political behavior of Latinos, but rather tends to promote their political engagement. The political mobilization of Latinos and Latinas is well underway, and this movement's tremendous energy is being transmitted through its churches.
Blessing La Política: The Latino Religious Experience and Political Engagement in the United States presents a corrective challenge to the authoritative conclusion by the book Voice and Equality: Civic Voluntarism in American Politics that Latinos are less likely to become involved in politics because of the predominant Catholic beliefs of this demographic. Through comprehensive analysis of the political tendencies of Latinos and Latinas of faith, the findings in this work consistently counterpoint those conclusions from a variety of perspectives and methodologies.
The research presented in the book comprises surveys that are national in scope—both of elites, and at the mass level—as well as localized in cities. The authors have also collected ethnographies that are localized in U.S. cities and transnational in nature. The result is both a broad view of Latino politics and religion, and detailed information that provides far more context that is possible in national-level quantitative studies.
• Examines the key statistics on how Latinos and Latinas vote and explains how many come to political decisions because of what they hear and learn in the churches
• Demystifies the preconceptions that all Latinos and Latinas are becoming Pentecostal or that Catholics are deficient in sophisticated modern political commitments
• Combines political science with historical and anthropological perspectives of how and why religion "works" at the local level in forming political opinions
• Discusses Latino politics within a framework of understanding the social and cultural dynamics that shape political mobilization rather than simplistic, static categories of voting results