From its eighteen member centers based at academic institutions around the country to its headquarters at the University of Illinois at Chicago and a new office in the heart of Washington, DC, the Inter-University Program for Latino Research is building a national network to support Latino scholarship.
IUPLR's principal objective since its inception has been to foster collaborative, interdisciplinary, and comparative research on the nation's major Latino groups. IUPLR seeks to accomplish this objective through the development of working groups as vehicles for conducting Latino research.
Areas of Research
Below are IUPLR major areas of research. As we update the research area of the website, you will be able to more easily access our members' publications on any given research topic. We currently are featuring select works related to the area of Families and Youth and encourage you to look into the institutions further by contacting their leaders directly.
Latinos in the Global Economy
An update is needed that looks at the effects of accelerated globalization on the Latino labor force particularly young people. Some guiding points may include the impact of the erosion of affirmative action programs and increased deportations on the economic health of communities.
IUPLR has had two working groups on higher education producing, in one instance, a national advocacy group and, in another, a book. While many focus on pre-K through 12, our focus and strength lies in higher education. Recent PEW Hispanic polls state that Latinos enter universities at higher percentage rates than African Americans and whites. We would like to focus new research on those who do succeed in graduating from high school and applying to college. What happens once they get there, and what are the greater outcomes?
Art and Culture
IUPLR has very strong research and training components in arts and culture. Through our partnership with the Smithsonian Latino Center we support a high school summer program in museum studies and co-organize a biannual arts conference accompanied with art exhibits. Past Latino Art Now! (LAN!) conferences have been held in Los Angeles, New York, and Washington DC. The next LAN! Conference will be held in Chicago in 2016. We have also been involved in a major archival project with the Houston Museum of Art and, more recently, have launched a project to create a virtual museum of Chicago Latino art. We are interested in developing understanding of the role and contributions of art and neighborhood museums in sustainable neighborhoods. Is there a relationship between art programs and civic engagement?
Families and Youth
A research working group has just been initiated to map Latino families. What do families look like regionally and generationally? Are there discernable national origin and ancestry differences? What are the special needs of young people? What impact have immigration policies had on Latino families?
Political and Social Incorporation
The first national study about Latino voting behavior was conducted by an IUPLR research working group, whose work led to several publications, including Latino Voices. It traditionally cultivated a deeper understanding of the variation in voting patterns among Latinos which could be discerned regionally, as well as by country of origin and ancestry. Generations and gender were also important factors. We would like to continue this project by broadening the lens to include civic and social engagement especially of young people. Another IUPLR project funded by the National Science Foundation took a close look at neighborhoods and found that age matters in how people define their political issues. While we know about opinions and voting behavior, we need to better understand the linkages between social/political integration and civic/political engagement. In addition, are their linkages between processes of identity formation and engagement?
In Borderless Borders: Latino, Latin Americans and the Paradoxes of Interdependence, a group of scholars from various countries in the Western hemisphere analyzed the state of US/Latin American relations and sought to understand the impact these had on Latino communities. The effects and variations of US relationships with homelands, from legal status to initial support, have deep implications on how communities from those countries evolve. Where are we in terms of hemispheric relations? How do these relationships impact the outcome of communities in the United States? In turn, how do these communities impact homelands?